The Secret Life of Water

Some groundwater basics.

Geology Notes

When I mention “groundwater,” the first thing you’re likely to imagine is a well for drinking water.  Most people know that you can stick a well in the ground and get water from it, but often never think about what that groundwater is doing before it gets to our wells.  A wise hydrologist once told me, “People never notice groundwater until there’s a problem with it.”  Generally, these problems involve water contamination (think Erin Brockovich), but just to show you that this isn’t always the case, I want to share an interesting story about an underground building doomed to an endless war with water.

First, though, I’ll start with a quick debrief on hydrology basics to get everyone on the same page.  At a certain depth below the land surface, the bedrock becomes saturated with water – this level is called the water table.  The saturated rock or material through…

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