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Groundwater Consultants

Sweco’s specialist groundwater consultancy expertise covers all aspects of groundwater resource development, management and protection – including reliable yield/quality assessments, strategic reviews, hydro-ecology, hydrogeological and economic evaluation, impact assessments and licensing, groundwater modelling, borehole construction, rehabilitation & abandonment, and mitigation of treatment issues.

Our groundwater consultants are experienced in managing the water environment elements of scoping studies, EIA and SEA for major infrastructure projects across a range of sectors, with a particular focus on the hydrogeology aspects. We manage numerous dewatering and groundwater flooding investigations, as well as advising on groundwater SUDS and ground source heat pump issues.

What exactly is groundwater?

Groundwater is water found underground in aquifers – rocks, sands and gravels that hold large quantities of water. It feeds springs, rivers, lakes and wetlands, and seeps into our oceans and can be extracted to the surface by pumps and wells. Rain and melting snow seep into the ground and help to replenish the store of groundwater. Read more in our groundwater guide…

Our hydrogeology services

Sweco’s hydrogeology team has worked extensively with developers, contractors, local authorities and water companies, building up vast experience in collaborative working, joint venture and high profile multi-stakeholder projects. Our solutions include:

  • Groundwater modelling
  • Hydrogeological impact assessments for groundwater abstractions and road schemes
  • Hydrogeological evaluations of surface water – groundwater interactions
  • Hydrogeological monitoring programmes
  • Borehole design, and testing
  • Source yield assessments, using UKWIR methodology
  • Qualitative and quantitative risk assessment
  • Management and technical governance of projects
  • Environmental impact assessments and SEA expertise (various sectors)
  • Dewatering, SUDS and soakaway drainage assessments

Our industry-leading team of hydrogeologists can adapt core services to water resource, construction, environmental and planning issues. With strong borehole engineering, groundwater resources and catchment hydrogeology expertise, we can deliver tailored and effective hydrogeological solutions. We work with most of the UK’s water companies on the development of solutions for the management and protection of their water resources.

Groundwater should be a key consideration in any land, building or resources development project and not only an afterthought, or a problem to solve during works as a result of overlooking it initially. At Sweco, our team of hydrogeologists can offer detailed advice, surveys and assessments throughout a project lifecycle, in addition to first-class engineering services.

Dr Harriet Carlyle Technical Director (Hydrogeology)

 

More about our groundwater services

Our range of skills in water resources development, management and protection ranges from long term regional water resource management plans, heavily modified water body assessment and strategic environmental assessment and solution option appraisal, through to local studies delivering projects to meet regulatory obligations.

We have worked with clients on Water Framework Directive investigations to mitigate surface water abstraction impacts, developed drought plan studies and groundwater feasibility assessments. Our innovations include the development of new abstraction options and borehole construction, rehabilitation, and testing.

Dewatering consultancy

We can provide specialist advice on significant dewatering issues associated with construction for a range of disciplines and including consideration of ground heave risks. These require comprehensive ground investigations, water features surveys and groundwater monitoring to inform the temporary works design and environmental impact assessment, watercourse capacity assessments for discharge.

We have experience of using a wide range of numerical and analytical approaches, including groundwater modelling using Modflow, for the assessment of inflows and likely impacts. We also have experience in regulatory liaison and permitting, including pumping test consent, discharge permit and abstraction licence specifically for dewatering.

Condition & performance assessments

Sweco can provide services covering all aspects of borehole engineering for water supply, and open loop ground source heat pump, boreholes. We have undertaken numerous condition and performance assessments incorporating downhole CCTV and geophysical surveys, and deployable output assessments.

Our refurbishment experience includes the resolution of problems with sand pumping, loss of performance and water quality failures. To address issues with boreholes pumping sand and subsequently blinding filters in the treatment process, Sweco developed an innovative sand testing methodology that has subsequently been adopted by water companies.

Environmental Impact Assessments

Our experience in Environmental Impact Assessments covers a wide range of project types and scales, including wind farms, site redevelopments and Major Infrastructure Projects such as highways engineering schemes.

As well as environment impact, we support multi-disciplinary teams and contract partners on a wide range of design and construction issues such as groundwater risks during construction (for example dewatering), flood risks, compliance, and licensing and environmental permitting requirements.

We also work with clients on investigations to mitigate surface water abstraction impacts, as well as develop drought plan studies and groundwater feasibility assessments.

 

Together with our clients and the collective knowledge of our 18,000 engineers, consultants and other specialists, we co-create solutions to address urbanisation, capture the power of digitalisation, and make our societies more sustainable.​ With international multi-disciplinary teams, we can call on the right insight and technical capability at the right time from across Buildings, Infrastructure, Advisory & Planning and Compliance.​
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