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Enlightening Research

Vertical Electrical Sounding and Self-Potential Methods to Survey for Placement of Potable Water Wells

Science of Geophysics vs Art of DowsingWater is a precious commodity  in most urban and rural areas. Luck of local  potable  water sources threatens not only thriving but a mere survival of rural communities all over the world.  Establishing potable water wells requires a lot of fundings and resources and often cost prohibitive for local governments in South America and Africa.

Searching for shallow groundwater require knowledge of subsurface layers and locating intensity and directions of water fluxes, which can be accomplished with geophysical methods of vertical electrical sounding (VES) and self-potential (SP).  A method of VES can distinguish differences in electrical resistivity or conductivity at the multiple (10+) layers in soil profiles. These differences reveal the changes in soil texture and structure  between water-bearing and waterproof  layers,  which form a framework for  the subsurface water fluxes. 

The directions and intensities of the fluxes  can then be evaluated with the self-potential method. However, conventional equipment for VES and SP is very expensive, bulky and complicated to operate. We tested a simple low-cost handheld device, LandMapper ERM-02, to evaluate layers in the ground with VES method and results were well  correlated with drilled profiles in Central TX.  Information is provided for the VES array assembly, field measuring procedure and interpretation of sounding results. Previously, device was used in Astrakhan area, Russia for estimation of the groundwater table and salinity layers in the soil profiles. The method of self-potential was used to estimate subsurface water flux directions and intensities through the measured variation in electrical potential on the soil surface and direct potable wells placement in Kiev, Urkaine and Dmitrov, Russia.

Cite this presentation:SAGEEP 25 - 2012 - Tucson, AZ
Golovko, Larisa, Anatoly Pozdnyakov, and Terry Waller. “A Vertical Electrical Sounding and Self-Potential Methods to Survey for Placement of Potable Water Wells.” In Making Waves: Geophysical Innovations for a Thirsty World. Tucson  AZ: Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, 2012.


Water For All International San Angelo, TX 31° 27' 49.5792" N, 100° 26' 13.3368" W
SAGEEP 2012 Tucson, AZ 32° 13' 18.2748" N, 110° 55' 35.3244" W

I have been working on

I have been working on reeonmlidg a 1973 Airstream travel trailer. I had to completely gut the interior so I am entirely replacing all of the plumbing with new work. I would like to share some observations about RV plumbing vs. normal residential plumbing with some comments about what could work for a tiny house. So here goes 1.) Fresh water supply:RV fresh water systems are typically designed to work with both a fresh water holding tank as well as a fresh water input when that is available. The holding tank in my Airstream is 40 gallons in size and is entirely under the floor. There is an input for filling the tank that is separate from the fresh water input for the system. The fresh water input has a garden hose type of connection. RV supply houses sell hoses that are rated for potable (drinkable) water. There is a 12volt on-demand pump that can pump water from the fresh water tank when there is no water supply to connect to with the hose. This pump typically has a manual on/off switch that the user turns off when they connect to a fresh water supply by hose. The pump typically acts as a one-way valve to keep water from the hose supply from getting back into the fresh water tank and flowing out the tank input. When the power connection to the pump is on and you turn on a faucet the pump senses the drop in pressure and turns on to supply water. RV systems typically have a pressure regulator on the hose input side to protect against uncertain pressure at RV parks. Systems typically have water filters of various types. Sometimes there is a filter on just the cold water tap in the kitchen sink. Extra care usually has to be taken to keep the fresh water tank and plumbing from freezing.2.) Fresh water plumbing:My old Airstream was originally plumbed with copper tubing. I am replacing it all with 1/2 PEX tubing which is much easier to work with. I opted to go with the crimp type connectors for PEX. They are readily available I got mine at Home Depot. They are also very cost effective. The fittings are typically brass. I decided to buy a serious crimping tool at Home Depot for about $99. It is also possible to rent the tool or to buy less expensive ones. I am doing other plumbing in my house too and I feel the investment was worthwhile. It is easy to trial fit things before crimping them too. One word of caution though and that is the crimping tool needs enough clearance to work so you do have to plan ahead a bit for that. It is possible to get different colors for hot and cold. You can also use colored tape that you can buy in the electrical department to do that.3.) Drain plumbing:Plumbing for sinks and showers can be pretty much the same as in a regular house. I am using 1-1/2 black ABS pipe for my system. All of the traps under my sinks and shower are also ABS rather than metal ones. You want to make sure that the shower drain is protected from freezing if it is under the floor.4.) Holding tanks:RV's usually have two separate holding tanks one for black water and one for gray water. The reason for two is because in some camping situations you might be able to drain off some of the gray water. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with having just one holding tank though depending on what you are going to do with the contents. Some RV's dump their tanks by gravity while other use a special type of pump called a macerator pump. These pumps can be built into your tiny house or they can be portable. They are typically 12volt pumps too. The advantage of using a pump is that they are capable of pumping the waste water through a garden hose for distances of up to 100 or more feet. They of course can also pump up hill.5.) Toilets:There are basically two types of toilets used in RV's. One type is typically mounted directly above the holding tank and has a trap door sort of mechanism that drops waste directly from the toilet bowl into the tank when the toilet is flushed. The other type of toilet has some sort of pumping mechanism that allows the toilet to be remote from the holding tank. This second type is very common in the marine industry. There are models with manual or electric pumps and there are some that work by vacuum action. One distinct advantage of these types of toilets is that they can flush up hill. This means that your holding tank would not need to be lower than the toilet. There is most typically a water connection to the toilet to aid with the flushing process. One nice thing about RV toilets is that they usually use very little water.5.) Drain pumps:The marine industry in particular often has a situation where the holding tanks are remote from the actual fixtures that they drain. They are also sometimes above the fixture. There are special types of pumps that can be used to facilitate draining to a remote tank. They are often called shower or sump pumps. Some of them actually have automatic switches inside of them that will turn on when there is water present. Others require that a manual switch be activated.6.) Hot water heating:RV's very typically have small tank type water heaters with a tank capacity of from 6 to 12 gallons. There is currently only water heater that is fully approved for use in RV's that is a tank-less model. Tank types are available for propane, electric or both. The one tank-less model is much more expensive than the tank type. There is a large variety of smaller volume tank-less type water heaters available now days that I think would be great for a tiny house. I am intending to adapt one of them for my Airstream. I am likely going to mount it outside though to avoid some potential safety issues with the use of a tank-less type water heater in an RV.I hope this information has been helpful. I would be willing to try to answer specific questions about the above information. I can be reached by email as follows:email hidden; JavaScript is required/* */

Please, provide more details

Please, provide more details on a simple manual VES procedure.

Detail VES procedure is

Detail VES procedure is decribed in this post

Larisa Golovko (Pozdnyakova), Ph.D. - President of Landviser, LLC


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