Wapella part of Mahomet aquifer study

Gordon Woods
Posted 12/13/19

Wapella part

of Mahomet aquifer study

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Wapella part of Mahomet aquifer study


WAPELLA — Wapella could be part of an aquifer study being conducted by the University of Illinois.

University of Illinois geologist Jason Thomason talked to trustees of the village board Tuesday about a plan to drill a monitoring well in Wapella. 

“Part of the program we run is in collaboration with the United States Geological Survey,” Thomason said.

He said there was an area of the map covering the Mahomet Aquifer for which there was no data.  

The study measures aquifer levels at specific locations, partly to watch “draw-down” activity affected by water usage.

“It’s basically the depth of the water in that well,” Thomason said.  “And, we’re measuring it over time.”

He said as the team observes levels in the wells over time, it can detect seasonal fluctuations, “and then, potentially, draw-down in well usage.”

In the Wapella area, Thomason said they expected to see draw-down over time either from Clinton or possibly Decatur.

Although Decatur is not over the aquifer, the city has wells to access it.

Thomason showed data that illustrated wells in the area of Champaign exhibiting draw-down because of the enormous volumes of water used by the city.

He emphasized, however, that draw-down was not a threat, even in the long term, to the ability of the aquifer to provide water.

“We’re just monitoring it long term to make sure that we understand how it’s working,” Thomason said.

There also is a water quality portion of the study, but Thomason said the U of I does not participate because it doesn’t have enough staff.