Acoustic Technology Provides New Groundwater-Level Monitoring Opportunities

Monday, December 4, 2017: 2:50 p.m.
102 B (Music City Center)
Joseph Fillingham, Ph.D. , Wellntel Inc., Silver Spring, MD
Charles Dunning, Ph.D. , Wellntel, Inc., Milwaukee, WI
Doug Cherkauer, Ph.D. , Geosciences, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

Acoustic groundwater-level monitoring systems are vital tools for creating and expanding data-dense, stakeholder-engaged monitoring networks. Telemetry enabled, acoustic groundwater-level sensors minimize contamination risk and operating complexity and benefit from the cloud, where automated plausibility and historical analysis provides accurate water level data despite local variables like obstructions, temperature change, and background noise, and maintains data quality control for long term monitoring. The technology is reshaping groundwater monitoring markets and practices since communities, agencies, and researchers are able to take advantage of previously untapped locations: the 15 million privately owned domestic and agricultural wells across the US. Low up front and operating costs, combined with rapid time intervals and automatic tagging of pump influenced readings reduce the cost per data-point over traditional methods, while creating new opportunities for evaluation and richer insight. Since the data can be shared with volunteers in formats designed for preventive maintenance, the effort and expense to start up and grow a spatially and temporally dense monitoring network is significantly reduced, while fostering community engagement between agencies and well owners around groundwater resource facts.

Slides in PDF
Joseph Fillingham, Ph.D., Wellntel Inc., Silver Spring, MD
Joseph Fillingham is the Science Lead at Wellntel Inc. where he works to improve the usefulness and power of groundwater information collected with the Wellntel system focusing on water and environmental dynamics. He also supports the Wellntel technical team in the development of new ways to sense important properties of groundwater. Fillingham received his Ph.D. in freshwater ecosystem dynamics from the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Charles Dunning, Ph.D., Wellntel, Inc., Milwaukee, WI
Charles Dunning leads Business Development for Wellntel, with responsibilities that include working with clients to define individual monitoring needs for characterizing their water resources and to consider the value of insights gained by expanding data through networks of monitored wells. Charles has advanced degrees in geology and civil engineering, and has had a 35-year career in geology and hydrogeology serving in both the public and private sectors.

Doug Cherkauer, Ph.D., Geosciences, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Doug is a professional hydrologist and geologist and as an independent consultant and Professor of Geosciences at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee has more than 45 years of experience in sustainable groundwater resource evaluation & development, determination of groundwater recharge, assessment and simulation of multiple aquifer and of glacial aquifer systems, and groundwater-surface water interactions.

NGWA Groundwater Summit is being held in conjunction with Groundwater Week.

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National Ground Water Association
601 Dempsey Road
Westerville, Ohio 43081
Phone 614 898.7791
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Fax 614 898.7786

Websites: —home site of NGWA — information for well owners