Quality assessment of deep-well recharge applications in the Netherlands

Quality assessment of deep-well recharge applications in the Netherlands

By Andreas Antoniou1, Frank Smits2,4 and Pieter Stuyfzand3,4

1International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC)
2Waternet – Amsterdam Water Supply
3KWR Watercycle Research Institute
4Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Technical University Delft

This article was published in IWA journal 'Water Science and Technology: Water Supply (Volume 17, Issue 5)'


Artificial recharge of aquifers can be performed for various purposes and under varying hydrogeological conditions. We present an overview of deep-well recharge applications which have taken place in The Netherlands over the last two decades. We present the purpose of each application, the issues which had to be resolved, the preventive measures which were taken to improve performance and the lessons learned from each experience. Examples are given of applications which aimed at the storage of water for drinking and other purposes such as irrigation, achieving environmental goals and disposal of wastewater. Applications aiming at drinking water production usually faced issues related to the quality of the abstracted water not meeting drinking water standards with respect to various elements, such as iron, manganese and arsenic. Storage of water in brackish aquifers was complicated by buoyancy effects making part of the recharged water irrecoverable. Recharge of water with the purpose of recovering declined groundwater tables and fighting seawater intrusion was hindered by clogging of the injection well while the disposal of wastewater was limited to aquifers of lower groundwater quality.