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Water Sampling Update

October 3, 2013
Field dog Abi keeps an eye on things while we set up water monitoring equipment at Pad 55-29

Field dog Abi keeps an eye on things while we set up water monitoring equipment at Pad 55-29

Summer field work has come to a close at the Newberry EGS Demonstration site, and with it we’ve completed the last round of water sampling and analysis. The EGS project was carefully designed to protect the local groundwater system, and our groundwater monitoring program helps us make sure we protect this valuable natural resource. Our water monitoring program was designed to document and report groundwater conditions from up-, down- and cross-gradient locations surrounding the EGS site.

We collect water samples from ten sites, including eight monitoring wells, one domestic water well and the hot springs at both Paulina Lake and East Lake in the Newberry caldera. We measure pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, oxidation-reduction potential and turbidity in the field. Each sample is then filtered to remove sediment and organic matter before being bottled and shipped to laboratories for analysis. The samples are analyzed for 30 different constituents and results are returned to AltaRock for review. Data from these samples are reviewed by AltaRock’s staff geochemist and geologists, and made available to government regulators.

To date we’ve collected and analyzed 45 samples and, as expected, no water quality changes have been detected at any of the monitoring sites. Samples were collected before, during and after stimulation, and sample collection has continued on a monthly basis since December 2012, when stimulation ended. When this summer’s field work came to a close, we spent several days winterizing our sampling wells and closing everything up for the winter months for the winter.

removing pump

Winterizing the wells: we removed this low-flow water pump from one of the water monitoring wells at the end of summer field work.

When we removed the low-flow pump from this well, we also had to lift out the seismometer. After detaching the pump from the cables that go to the surface we replaced the seismometer, which will remain in the well for the winter.

When we removed the low-flow pump from this well, we also had to lift out the seismometer. After detaching the pump from the cables that go to the surface we replaced the seismometer, which will remain in the well for the winter.

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