AGL has installed two additional groundwater monitoring bores at Gloucester, NSW, to learn more about the shallow groundwater beneath the Avon River floodplain and within underground geological faults.

The extra bores were drilled last week in the Waukivory Pilot area, with one bore targeting the geological fault zone at 60 metres below ground level and the other targeting the alluvium 10 metres beneath the floodplain.

The Waukivory Pilot Program gathers data from four natural gas wells drilled in 2012 at two properties near Forbesdale. The wells were drilled into the deep coal seams hundreds of metres below the surface, and completely sealed off from surrounding rock layers and beneficial aquifers.

The purpose of the project is to determine how much water is produced from the coal seams, assess the natural gas potential of the wells, and determine the impact (if any) on overlying groundwater systems.

AGL has installed these extra bores, despite not being required to, after requests by members of the community and the Gloucester Dialogue.

“Drilling these additional water monitoring bores is not required under our current approvals, but we want to go over and above the requirements to provide the community with a greater comfort about the role of geological faults in groundwater flow and potential impacts, if any, on the Avon River,” said John Ross, Manager of Hydrogeology.

“There have been community concerns about the faultlines from locals who have some knowledge about the geological systems in Gloucester. We’ve listened and installed the monitoring bores last week.”

“These bores will provide more information when we start the Waukivory flow testing as to whether the fault beneath the Avon River acts as a barrier to water flow, is a conduit for flow, or is of no consequence.”

“The timing is right for these bores – they are in place before we start flowing water from our wells at Waukivory,” said Mr Ross.

Once up and running, the monitoring equipment in the bores will take water level and salinity readings every six hours, and the data will be linked to a new water portal that was launched recently.

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