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Induced Infiltration: An Alternative to Direct Surface Water Intakes

Whether it be for potable supplies, industry, recreation or the environment, water underpins our collective well-being and ensuring that we have reliable and sustainable water resources is fundamental to current and future generations. In Alberta and BC, most of us rely on surface water (e.g., rivers and lakes) to sustain our water needs. This is typically accomplished by pumping water from the surface water feature, via direct intakes structures, which form permanent obstructions in the river or lake. Direct intake construction involves in-stream or in-lake activities, such as coffer dam construction and dewatering to facilitate intake installation. These construction activities, and subsequent maintenance activities, create sedimentation in the surface water body. Thus, such activities are not permitted during periods of fish spawning, etc. Moreover, direct intakes are subject to transient water quality issues (e.g., spring time and storm event turbidity spikes), as well as to flow disruptions due to ice obstructions. Unlike intake structures, obtaining surface water indirectly, via shallow wells constructed adjacent to the surface water feature (induced infiltration system), offers the following advantages:

  • Shallow wells can be constructed year-round as they have no in-stream or no in-lake activities.

  • No in-stream or no in-lake activities means that permitting is faster and simpler.

  • Shallow water wells are not subject to transient water quality issues, and sediment-free water is produced year-round, regardless of the turbidity in the surface water body.

  • Shallow water wells are not subject to flow disruptions from ice obstructions.

Please contact Waterline at 1-888-542-5611 to learn more about induced infiltration systems, and whether it would benefit your existing or planned project.

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