Historic Groundwater Development in Illinois: 125 Years of Groundwater Science, Well Construction, and Aquifer Development.

Presented on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Illinois State Water Survey was formed in 1895 to investigate outbreaks of typhoid fever and cholera as part of the Chemistry Department at the University of Illinois. 2020 marks the Water Survey’s 125th anniversary. Over its history the ISWS, which has groundwater, surface water, chemistry, atmospheric science, and floodplain mapping sections, has conducted groundbreaking research and community support in a number of fields that have impacted groundwater and drinking water science. These include assisting in historic state and community well construction efforts, groundwater modeling (analog and digital), pump test analysis, innovations in data collection and evaluation, and water quality and supply assessment. Case studies and examples from the last 100+ years, including historic photos of well construction, development, and analysis of groundwater systems, will be presented.

Steve Wilson
Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL
Steve Wilson is a groundwater hydrologist at the ISWS. He has a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. Mr. Wilson has been involved in numerous groundwater assessment projects dealing with both groundwater quantity and quality issues. He recently completed an evaluation of the statewide arsenic occurrence in groundwater and is working with ISWS staff to assist in the development of GWINFO, a program to integrate groundwater data into a SQL-based system for archival, entry, and retrieval of groundwater data.
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