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Neighborhood Ground Water Network
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a ground water level measurement?
Why is it important to record ground water level measurements?
What is the purpose of this pilot program?
Where is this pilot program available?
How long will this pilot program last?
How can I get involved?
How long should volunteers participate in this program?
Who may use the educational materials created for this pilot program?
Is it difficult to collect a water level measurement in a well?
Additional information?






What is a ground water level measurement?

A ground water level measurement is a measurement of the depth of water below land surface in a well. The ground water level represents the amount of water storage in the surrounding aquifer. A record of ground water level measurements over a period of time can help you understand how much water is in your well and how that varies over the year.


Why is it important to record ground water level measurements?

Collection of water level measurements in your well will help you identify changes in water levels before they become a serious problem. Changes in well water levels could be related to well efficiency, variations in ground water recharge and discharge, seasonal fluctuations, or ground water overuse.



What is the purpose of this pilot program?

Ground water education and outreach efforts through this program will provide participants with the tools for stewardship of their ground water resources, improve their understanding of ground water conservation measures, and develop their skills in collection and interpretation of ground water levels in wells. Collection of additional ground water level data will provide a better representation of ground water conditions in neighborhoods across Oregon.


Where is this pilot program available?

This pilot program is available to any community member in the Eola Hills (northwest of Salem, Oregon) interested in measuring water levels in wells. Generally, this will consist of individuals and neighborhood associations that rely on domestic wells as their water source. Other wells may be considered for inclusion in this program upon request.



How long will this pilot program last?

This program will last from July 1, 2008 until June 30, 2009. Community members are encouraged to collect water level measurements after the conclusion of this pilot program.


How can I get involved?

If you live in the Eola Hills and want to get involved, you should attend a half-day volunteer workshop to learn about ground water science and ground water level measurement. After you attend this workshop, you will be able to start collecting water level measurements in your well. Contact Abby Brown, OSU Sea Grant Fellow, using the contact information below to find out the dates and times of upcoming workshops in the Eola Hills.


How long should volunteers participate in this program?

Volunteers in this program should collect water level measurements monthly for one year. After the first year, volunteers may choose to continue in the program and collect water level measurements quarterly for two additional years.



Who may use the educational materials created for this pilot program?

Anyone is welcome to use or download these educational materials. But, be aware, collecting water levels in wells can be tricky, and we require that participants in this program complete a half-day volunteer workshop. If you use these materials to collect a water level measurement in your well, do so at your own risk.



Is it difficult to collect a water level measurement in a well?

At times it may difficult to record a water level measurement in a well. Risks include environmental problems (such as bees, animals, or poison oak), structural problems (removing the well house, bare electric wires, or sharp edges on the well casing), or measurement problems (inaccurate measurements, losing a water level meter probe in your well, or damaging your well equipment). If a well is too difficult to measure easily, it may not be possible to participate in this program. But, with a little background knowledge, patience, and care, it is possible to obtain quick and accurate water level measurement in many wells.


Additional information

For more information about the Neighborhood Ground Water Network or if you are interested in participating in this program, please contact Abigail Brown, OSU Sea Grant Fellow, at 503-986-0836 or brownal@wrd.state.or.us.