In localities where highly mineralized water is present in beds above and below the beds that yield the supplies of fresh water it is necessary to be able to locate leaks in wells in order to know whether the wells are being contaminated through holes in the casings or whether the fresh water supply is failing. Four general methods of detecting salt-water leaks have been used. In the pumping method, samples taken at measured time intervals while the well is being pumped show by their progressive change in salinity if salt water is being drawn in. In the velocity method, which is suitable for use only in artesian wells, a current meter lowered into the well indicates the location of possible salt water leaks by determining the levels at which there are changes in the rate of upward movement of the water. In the sampler method a container lowered into the well brings up a sample from any depth desired for analysis of its chloride content. The electric conductivity method, for which special apparatus was designed, has been used successfully in the Winter Garden area and Kleberg County, Tex., and in Sarasota County, Fla. The procedure in this method was to lower a pair of insulated electrodes into the well and measure the resistance of the water between them with the Wheatstone bridge or, in waters low in chloride, to apply a direct current of low voltage and measure the current flowing between .the electrodes by means of a milliammeter. The installments showed a marked increase in the conductivity of the water as the electrodes passed from fresh to salt water in the well, leaving no doubt as to the location of the leaks.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Major Texas floods of 1935
Water Supply Paper
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey ;
v,  p. :ill., maps (folded), tables, diagrs ;23 cm.