Land Subsidence Mitigation : Aquifer Recharge Using Treated Wastewater Injection book cover
1st Edition

Land Subsidence Mitigation
Aquifer Recharge Using Treated Wastewater Injection

ISBN 9781138050761
Published August 30, 2017 by CRC Press
404 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines the process of injecting treated wastewater into wells to replenish aquifers, and thereby slow the process of land subsidence, and help to mitigate coastal flooding. It explains how up to fifty percent of sea-level rise may be due to land subsidence, and up to fifty percent of land subsidence may be due to aquifer compaction. The concepts covered discuss replenishing aquifers with clean water to reduce nutrient discharges into out-falled waterways; providing a sustainable supply of groundwater; reducing the rate of land subsidence; and protecting the groundwater from saltwater intrusion. Practical case studies from Virginia and California will be included.

Table of Contents






Acronyms and Abbreviations



About 33 to 35 Million Years Ago

A Whole Bunch of Shock and Very Little Awe

Meteorite Terms

The Earth-Changing Event

Effects of the Chesapeake Bay Bolide Impact

Location of Chesapeake Bay

River Diversion

Ground Instability Due to Faulting

Disruption of Coastal Aquifers

Land Subsidence

The Bottom Line

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 2 Soil Basics


Soil what is it?

Key Terms Defined

All about Soil

Functions of Soil

Soil as a Plant Growth Medium

Soil as a Regulator of Water Supplies

Soil as a Recycler of Raw Materials

Soil as a Habitat for soil Organisms

Soil as an Engineering Medium

Soil as a Source of Materials

Concurrent Soil Functions

Soil Basics

Physical Properties of Soil

Soil Separates

Soil Formation


Factors that Influence Weathering

Categories of Weathering Processes

Soil Characterization

Diagnostic Horizons, Temperature, and Moisture Regimes

Soil Taxonomy

Soil Orders

Soil Suborders

Soil Great Groups and Subgroups

Soil Families and Series

The Bottom Line

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 3 The Science of Soil Mechanics

Soil Mechanics

Weight-Volume or Space and Volume Relationships

Soil Particles Characteristics

Soil Stress

Soil Compressibility

Soil Compaction

Soil Failure

Soil Water

Water and Soil

Water: What is it?

Water Physical Properties

The Water Cycle (Hydrologic Cycle)

Soil Water

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 4 Basic Water Hydraulics

What is Water Hydraulics?

Basic Concepts

Stevin’s Law

Density and Specific Gravity

Force and Pressure

Hydrostatic Pressure

Effects of Water under Pressure


Static Head

Friction Head

Velocity Head

Total Dynamic Head (Total System Head)

Pressure and Head

Head and Pressure

Flow and Discharge Rates: Water in Motion

Area and Velocity

Pressure and Velocity

Piezometric Surface and Bernoulli’s Theorem

Conservation of Energy

Energy Head

Piezometric Surface

Head Loss

Hydraulic Grade Line (HGL)

Bernoulli’s Theorem

Bernoulli’s Equation

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 5 Groundwater Hydraulics


Unconfined Aquifers

Saturated Zone

Capillary Fringe

Unsaturated Zone


Hydrologic Properties of Water-Bearing Materials


Primary Porosity

Secondary Porosity

Controlling Porosity of Granular Materials

Void Ratio


Intrinsic Permeability

Hydraulic Conductivity


Water Yielding and Retaining Capacity

Specific Yield

Specific Retention

Confined Aquifers

Steady Flow of Groundwater

Darcy’s Law


Groundwater Flow and Effects of Pumping

The 411 on Wells

Shallow Wells

Deep Wells

Components of a Production Well

Well Hydraulics

Basic Well Hydraulics

Well Drawdown Calculations

Well Yield Calculations

Specific Yield Calculations

Depleting the Groundwater Bank Account

Overdrawing the Groundwater Bank Account

The Bottom Line

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 6 Land Subsidence

Vanishing Land

Withdrawal from the Groundwater Bank Account

Effective Stress

Preconsolidation Stress

Aquitards Role in Compaction

Subsidence Model of Antelope Valley

Subsidence in Silicon Valley

Mining Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley

Coastal Subsidence in Houston-Galveston Area

In the "Meadows": Gambling is More than a Game

Ground Failures

Reduced Storage Capacity

Earth Fissures and Subsidence in South-Central Arizona

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 7 The Vanishing of Hampton Roads


Hampton Roads: Sea Level Rise

Global Warming

Greenhouse Effect

Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming

Factors Involved with Global Warming/Cooling

How is Climate Change Measured?

Global Warming and Sea Level Rise

Major Physical Effects of Sea Level Rise

Major Direct Human Effects of Sea Level Rise

Land Subsidence in Hampton Roads

Why Land Subsidence is a Concern in the Chesapeake Bay Region

Land Subsidence Contributes to Relative Sea Level Rise

Land Subsidence Increases Flooding Risk

Land Subsidence Can Damage Wetland and Coastal Marsh Ecosystems

Land Subsidence Can Damage Infrastructure

Aquifer Compaction

Glacial Isostatic Adjustment

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 8 Measuring and Monitoring Land Subsidence

Measuring Subsidence

Borehole Extensometers

Tidal Stations

Geodetic Survey


Importance of Land Subsidence Monitoring

Monitoring Methods

Borehole Extensometers—Ongoing Monitoring

Geodetic Surveying—Ongoing Monitoring 2016

Tidal Stations—Ongoing Monitoring 2016

Remote Sensing—Ongoing Monitoring 2016

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 9 Every Problem has a Solution

Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD)

The Solution to Pollution in Chesapeake Bay

The Problem


The Nansemond Treatment Plant Extensometer Plan

Extensometer Station Design

Extensometer Station Monitoring Program

The Plan

The Bottom Line

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 10 Potomac Aquifer System


The Potomac Formation

Injection Wells

Subsidence Control Wells

Injection Well Hydraulics

Injection Operation

Injection Well Capacity Estimation

Estimating Specific Capacity and Injectivity

Available Head for Injection

Flexibility for Adjusting Injection Well Capacities

Number of Injection Wells Required at each Wastewater Treatment Plant

Aquifer Injection Modeling

Mathematical Modeling

Groundwater Flow Modeling

Modeling Results

Army Base Treatment Plant

Boat Harbor Treatment Plant

James River Treatment Plant

Nansemond Treatment Plant

Virginia Initiative Plant

Williamsburg Treatment Plant

York River Treatment Plant

Sensitivity of Aquifer Parameters


Storage Coefficient

Injection Rates

Simulation Duration

Static Water Elevations

Well Interference

Hampton Roads Region Groundwater Flow

Model Injection Rates

Model Duration

The Bottom Line

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 11 Native Groundwater and Injectate Compatibility


HRSD’s Water Management Vision

Geochemical Challenges Facing SWIFT Project

Reduction in Injectivity

Physical Plugging

Mineral Precipitation

Geochemical Concerns

Damaging Clay Minerals

Mineral precipitation

Mineral Dissolution

Water Quality and Aquifer Mineralogy

Injectate Water Chemistry

Reverse Osmosis


Biologically Activated Carbon

Native Groundwater

Upper Potomac Aquifer Zone

Middle Potomac Aquifer Zone

Lower Potomac Aquifer Zone

Geochemical Assessment of Injectate and Groundwater Chemistry

Lithology of the Potomac Aquifer System


City of Chesapeake Aquifer Storage and Recovery Facility Core Samples

Mineralogy—Geochemical Modeling

Stability of Clay Minerals

Simulated Injectate—Water Interactions


Mixing Injectate and Native Groundwater

Mixing in the Injection Wellbore

Injectate and Aquifer Mineral Reactions

Siderite Dissolution

Pyrite Oxidation

Mitigating Pyrite Oxidation

The Bottom Line

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 12 Feasibility of Advanced Water Purification Processes


By the Book Only, Please!

Those Playing by the Book in Indirect Potable

Additional Drinking Water Considerations

Injectate Water Quality Concerns

Advanced Water Treatment Processes

Treatment Plant Effluent Water Quality

Data Sources for Evaluation

Data Evaluation

Advanced Treatment Product Water Quality

Inorganic Water Quality

Organic Water Quality

Bulk Organics

Trace Organics

RO Concentrate Disposal

Pathogen Removal

Disinfection By-Products

Anticipated Improvements to HRSD’s Existing WWTPs

The Bottom Line

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 13 Membrane Concentrate Management


Evaluation Results

Regulatory Setting for Surface Water Discharges

Potential Future Membrane Concentrate Permit Requirements

Discharges in Accordance with Permits Allowing Similar Pollutant Discharge

Discharges Based on Additional Concentrate Treatment to Reduce Key Pollutants

Treatment of Reverse Osmosis/Nanofiltration Concentration

Treatment Requirements Based on Discharge Objectives

Discharge in Accordance with Current Permits

Discharges Based on Additional Concentrate Treatment

Nutrient Discharge Comparison for Current and Projected Treatment Options

Projected Pollutant Loading from Treatment Options

The Bottom Line

References and Recommended Reading

CHAPTER 14 Cost Estimates


Cost Estimating Approach

Treatment Trains

Injection Well Facilities

Approach and Assumptions

Standard Project Analysis

Capital Cost Plant Facility Model

Injection Well Facility Costs

Operations and Maintenance Costs

Design Criteria

Cost Estimates

Capital and Annual Operating Costs

Net Present Value

Define Period Analysis

Calculate Annual Cash Flows

Select a Discount Rate

Calculate the Present Value

Net Present Value for each AWT Train

The Bottom Line

References and Recommended Reading

Afterword or Beforehand


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Frank R. Spellman, PhD, is a retired assistant professor of environmental health at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, and the author of more than 110 books covering topics ranging from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to all areas of environmental science and occupational health. Many of his texts are readily available online, and several have been adopted for classroom use at major universities throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Russia; two have been translated into Spanish for South American markets. Dr. Spellman has been cited in more than 850- publications. He serves as a professional expert witness for three law groups and as an incident/accident investigator for the U.S. Department of Justice and a northern Virginia law firm. In addition, he consults on homeland security vulnerability assessments for critical infrastructures including water/wastewater facilities nationwide and conducts pre-Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)/Environmental Protection Agency EPA audits throughout the country. Dr. Spellman receives frequent requests to co-author with well-recognized experts in several scientific fields; for example, he is a contributing author of the prestigious text The Engineering Handbook, 2nd ed. (CRC Press). Dr. Spellman lectures on sewage treatment, water treatment, biosolids and homeland security and lectures and safety topics throughout the country and teaches water/wastewater operator short courses at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia). He holds a BA, in public administration, a BS in business management, an MBA, and an MS and PhD in environmental engineering.