GW Solutions was commissioned in 2011 by the BC Comptroller, Water Allocation and Utility Regulation Section, to assess the Woodley Range Water Works; a private water utility located on a rocky hill, south of Nanaimo Airport, on the east coast of Vancouver Island.
Six (6) bedrock wells were drilled in the early 1990s and a water system was designed and rated in 1993 through 1996 to supply a residential subdivision. In 2009 and 2010, Woodley Range experienced a lack of water in the mid-summer, thus requiring trucking in of water. The 2011 spring study by GW Solutions revealed that little was known about the long-term response of the aquifer to pumping, mostly under summer conditions when the water table drops and when there is no recharge through precipitation for several consecutive months.
GW carried out a summer assessment in 2011 to provide an opinion about the production capacity of both the water system and the bedrock aquifer.
The initial goal was to determine whether the water supply shortage was a result of low aquifer levels, excessive well head losses, a control problem, distribution network leaks or a combination of these factors. The pumping rate of each well was thoroughly monitored over the summer and fall of 2011, for up to 65 days. Drops of pumping levels of over 80 m were recorded. A drop of discharge rate with time was observed for all the wells. This was particularly drastic for one of the main producers, which saw its discharge rate drop by more than ninety percent.