Case Study: 66,000-m3/d Facility Meets Growth Demands with New Sustainable Alternative Water Supply

Advanced borehole geophysics, subsurface expertise, and local knowledge of regulatory requirements leads to cost-effective wellfield design

Challenge: Meet increasing water supply demands of region with expanding population.

Solution: Apply Schlumberger advanced borehole geophysics, aquifer testing, and solute-transport modeling to enable detailed aquifer characterization and optimization of the well field and reverse-osmosis water treatment design.

Result: Developed a cost-effective, sustainable brackish groundwater supply and a concentrate-disposal system with rapid turnaround.

Regulatory constraints on traditional water supplies

Concern raised by government water supply planners about the potential sustainability of traditional shallow groundwater supplies resulted in regulatory constraints placed on additional withdrawals from the Biscayne Aquifer. The focus on new water supplies shifted to deeper brackish groundwater from the Floridan aquifer system. The City of Hialeah (population 229,969 as of 2011) and Miami-Dade County (population 2,554,766 as of 2011) turned to Schlumberger Water Services to perform the necessary study, design, permitting, and construction of a new alternative water supply to meet the demands of the growing population.

The availability of data for the chemical and physical character of the Floridan aquifer system was limited near the project area and required

  • constructing the test well, including, including applying advanced borehole geophysics, to characterize the aquifer system
  • using 3D, density-dependent, hydraulic- and solute-transport modeling (SEAWAT) to anticipate changes in groundwater quality due to withdrawals from a proposed well-field configuration over a 30-year period
  • designing, permitting, and constructing a concentrate disposal system consisting of two Class I deep injection wells with a total depth of approximately 1,070 m and a dual-zone monitoring well
  • constructing a brackish groundwater wellfield.

Recognizing the need for a new water supply, the governmental agency responsible for water resources in the region, the South Florida Water Management District, provided a funding grant for construction costs associated with the injection wells. Conditions of the grant placed a deadline on construction completion, which required continuous and simultaneous construction of the two injection wells under the supervision of Schlumberger Water Services.

Advanced borehole geophysics using Schlumberger oilfield technology

Technology developed by Schlumberger in the oilfield was used to characterize the Floridan Aquifer System. The advanced borehole geophysics run on a test well consisted of a CMR combinable magnetic resonance tool, FMI fullbore formation microimager, and other technologies. Data from borehole geophysical logs enabled the optimization of the production well design and facilitated development of a SEAWAT simulation. The model was run to estimate changes in groundwater quality as a result of different well-field configurations over a 30-year withdrawal period. The results of the model provided the proposed wellfield configuration, proposed production well withdrawal rates, and water-quality data that were used during the design of the reverse-osmosis water treatment plant.

New potable water supply

The application of Schlumberger technology and expertise enabled detailed characterization of the Floridan aquifer system. Characterization of the aquifer system and groundwater modeling results provided the information needed for the design of the wellfield and simulated water-quality conditions that were used for the design of the reverse-osmosis water treatment plant. Collaboration with governmental agencies enabled construction of the concentrate disposal system within the set deadline, which was necessary to obtain outside funding. The result is a sustainable alternative water supply that will meet the demands of a growing population.

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Sustainable Water Supply for Growing Population

Injection well diagramElectric rigs simultaneously drilling two injection wellsUpper Floridan aquifer well construction and testing
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