Hydraulic conductivity relates to the volume of water that can flow through a 1ft x 1ft cross section of an aquifer over a period of time. An aquifer is a layer of rock or soil that has water bearing capacity to provide a usable amount of water to a well or spring. Hydraulic transmissivity is calculated by multiplying the hydraulic conductivity of an aquifer by the thickness of said aquifer. This allows the calculation of how much water can be expected to arrive in the well or spring over a period of time, usually a day. The calculation is used in bore-hole technology to gain access to a water supply via a water table. It is also important in building and construction to identify the amount of water that could cause damage to the foundations of a building or structure. Should the hydraulic conductivity be too high, the hydraulic transmissivity can be increased to minimise the flow of water.
This can be done by increasing the density of the aquifer thereby lowering the flow of water. The water flow can also be redirected or diverted using canals or pipe lines to channel the water away from the structure or building. This is especially important in underground structures such as mine shafts or tunnels where water must be diverted. A team of expert engineers and professionals use the hydraulic conductivity and transmissivity ratios to determine the best means of preventing the water from flowing into underground structures. They also use various means of waterproofing technology to further prevent water and damp from entering underground structures and causing deterioration. Deterioration can lead to damage and even the collapse of tunnels, shafts and other underground structures.
To find out more about the ways and means used to improve or minimise the hydraulic transmissivity and conductivity of aquifers, please contact us.