Pumping Drainage Well Layout and Optimum Capacity Design to Lower Groundwater Table in Urban Areas

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assist. Prof., Department of Civil Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Former Graduate Student, Department of Civil Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


High groundwater levels in urban areas pose major problems in construction and mining projects. A typical and effective solution in these situations is to dig drainage wells to lower the water table to the desired level through an appropriate pumping strategy. Although the method is efficient, the operating costs are relatively high and it is, therefore, of great importance to optimize the groundwater pumping system to save costs. In this paper, a simulation-based optimization approach is exploited to minimize the total costs through optimizing the layout and capacity of pumping wells. For this purpose, MODFLOW, the groundwater simulation software, is used to investigate aquifer behavior under pumping wells and the well-known Firefly Optimization Algorithm is exploited to find the optimal well layout and capacity. The proposed FOA-MODFLOW model is tested on the small urban ancient Grand Mosque region in Kerman City, southeast of Iran, to minimize the cost of the draining project. Experimental results indicate that the proposed cost-effective design noticeably outperforms the one proposed by the consulting engineers in terms of both the number of drilled wells and the associated pumping costs. The optimal strategy observes the constraints and demands by constructing only two wells with a total pumping rate of 5503 m3/day and a water table drawdown of more than 1.5 m provided the ground subsidence is within the allowable limit of less than 80 mm. Additionally, examination of the values obtained for the various design parameters shows that the proposed strategy is the best and its sensitivity to maximum permissible water level and pumping rates is highest as compared with other similar designs.


Main Subjects

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