Aller et al. (1989) provide a detailed overview of well development and should be consulted
when evaluating well development methods. Overall, the most effective and efficient method
available for inducing flow reversal during well development is the careful use of a properly
constructed surge block. To be effective, the surge block may need to be lifted and lowered
throughout the well screened interval for several hours, with periodic pumping or bailing of
the fines. Bailers and pumps also have been used successfully to develop wells; however,
depending on the depth of the water, the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer, and the
diameter of the well, pumping may effectively achieve well development.
The following is a general procedure for developing a well by surging and pumping of
Record the static water level and total well depth.
Set the pump and record the pumping rate. Pump until turbidity reaches the
desired level as measured using a turbidity meter.
Discontinue pumping and begin surging using a properly designed surge block
and proper surging technique.
Measure and record well depth to determine the amount of fines, and repeat
Step 2. If the well has been properly designed, the amount of pumping
required to achieve the desired turbidity level will be substantially less than the
amount of pumping required during the first pumping cycle.
Repeat surging and pumping until the well yields water of acceptable turbidity
at the beginning of a pumping cycle. A good way to ensure that development
is complete is to shut the pump off during the last anticipated pumping cycle,
leaving the pump in place, and re start it at a later time. The turbidity of the
discharge water should remain low.
Effective and efficient well development is possible only with adequate flow rate
during water withdrawal. Additionally, any fines that have been drawn into the well should
be removed to the greatest degree possible. Therefore, the Agency recommends that one of
the following pumping methods, listed in the order of preference, be used in conjunction with
a properly designed surge block:
Centrifugal pump capable of removing fines if the water level is within
suction lift distance.
Electric submersible pump capable of pumping fines.