Environmental Enlightenment #172
By Ami Adini - Reissued April 15
, 2016

This is a SHORT, LIGHT and SIMPLE newsletter. Its purpose is to rekindle in the initiated terminology they have once learned, and enlighten the uninitiated on terms they may have heard but never known the meaning of.

On Piezometers and Monitoring Wells

The word “piezo” in Greek means “pressure” and “meter” means to measure. Thus “piezometer” means a device to measure pressure.

In the field of study of aquifers, we use piezometers to measure the pressure of the groundwater at various locations and depths. Such piezometers usually consist of a small pipe or tube, the end being under the water face, thus allowing for the water to move up and down inside the tube in accordance with the water pressure in the aquifer where the piezometer is inserted.

Here’s a simplified diagram of a piezometer:

In the environmental field we use groundwater monitoring wells to collect water samples from the aquifer.  Here is a simplified diagram of a groundwater monitoring well:

The essential difference between piezometers and monitoring wells is that in the monitoring well we have a wide range screen (usually from 20 feet below the water table to 10 feet above the water table).  The screen takes into consideration the fluctuations with groundwater table and allows for free petroleum products that may reside at the water table to enter the well. In the case of a piezometer, this can’t happen.

Similarly, soil gas probes are not piezometers as they measure no pressure. First off, these probes are installed ONLY in the soil, never in water. Secondly, their function is only the collection of migratory vapors for later sampling. Here’s a typical diagram of a soil-vapor probe.

You can find past issues of our "Environmental Enlightenment" at amiadini.com Wealth of information about environmental site assessments in the real estate transactions and issues concerning assessment and cleanup of contamination in the subsurface soil and groundwater.

Call me if you have any questions. There are no obligations.

Ami Adini Environmental Services, Inc.
Environmental Consultants & General Engineering Contractors
California Lic. #1009513 A B HAZ ASB
818-824-8102; mail@amiadini.com

Ami Adini is a veteran environmental practitioner with over 40 years of experience. He carries a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) in Mechanical Engineering including academic credits in Nuclear and Chemical Engineering and postgraduate education in these fields. His career includes design and construction of nuclear plant facilities, chemical processing plants and hazardous wastewater treatment systems. He is a former California Registered Environmental Assessor Levels I & II in the 1988-2012 registry that certified environmental professionals in the assessment and remediation of environmentally impacted land, and a Registered Environmental Professional (REP) since 1989 with the National Registry of Environmental Professionals (NREP). He is a California Business & Professions Code Qualifying Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) in the General Engineering Contractor classification with Hazardous Substance Removal and Asbestos certifications, and president of AMI ADINI ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, INC. (AAES), a general engineering contractor and consulting firm specializing in environmental site assessments, rehabilitation of contaminated sites and removal of environmental risks from real-estate transactions. (Contact Ami for a complete resume.) AAES provides practical solutions to environmental concerns using the highest standards of ethics and integrity while providing its clients with maximum return on their investments.