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Research on four drilling and sampling methods for groundwater up to five metres below groundwater level in sandy areas

Onderzoek van vier boor- en monsternemingsmethoden voor grondwater tot vijf meter beneden de grondwaterspiegel in het zandgebied

Synopsis

The so-called Multi-Channel Well (MCW), installed using the SonicSampDrill, has proven to be the best method for analysing groundwater on farms up to five metres below groundwater level. This is because this method - using just one sonic drilling allows placement of multiple sampling filters up to five metres below this level, so fewer boreholes are needed. At the moment, groundwater quality on farms in the Netherlands is measured in the uppermost one metre of the groundwater. These measurements, carried out in the framework of the Netherlands National Monitoring Programme for Effectiveness of the Minerals Policy (LLM in Dutch) are used to determine effects of the fertiliser policy on the groundwater quality; effects are reflected in the topmost metre. Besides this, measurements are also used to test the groundwater quality against the nitrate standard. At the moment it is being investigated if the test depth can be lowered to five metres. First of all, because this seems to be in line with the European regulations. And secondly, because concentrations of nitrate deeper in the soil can decrease. This involves the possibility of too stringent testing at the moment. However, the LMM method does not allow such deep drilling, so a lower test depth will require another drilling and sampling method. RIVM has investigated four methods at four dairy farms. These dairy farms are spread across the four large sandy areas in the Netherlands (north, east, centre and south). Every farm contains four drilling sites, totalling 16. The methods investigated are characterised, for example, by hand or machine drilling and by the installation of temporary or permanent filters. Methods are assessed on practical application and the quality of the sampling. With the manual Van der Staay method, in which temporary filters are installed, the desired depth is achieved at only 50 per cent of the sites. With the use of the mechanised Extendable Point Method, in which temporary filters are placed too, drilling and water sampling forms a poor combination in practice. The MCW and the Direct Well (DW) methods allow placement of permanent filters after machine drilling. Contrary to the MCW method, the DW method requires a separate borehole for each filter.
 

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