In the Wyoming Valley Flood Risk Management Project (WVFRMP), there are approximately 123 relief wells generally located on the landside of the levee.  During an emergency high water event along the Susquehanna River, the purpose of a relief well is to intercept seepage or excess groundwater pressure that may be occurring beneath the levee through a pervious soil stratum.  The unbalanced hydrostatic head forces the intercepted seepage up through the wells to discharge safely on the protected side of the levee.  These discharged waters are eventually drained back to the river though relief culverts.

These wells prevent boils and other seepage uplift forces from occurring during high water events.  By relieving groundwater pressures, the relief wells aid in preventing internal erosion and possibly failure of the levee.  In accordance with United State Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Operation & Maintenance Manual (O&MM) regulations, it is required that every five (5) years all relief wells be scheduled for inspection and hydraulic pump testing in order to evaluate their functional reliability.  Geo-Technology Associates, Abingdon, MD was awarded the $110,000 contract to perform this service at the January 2017 regular meeting of the Authority Board.  The field work began in May 2017 and was completed in August 2017.  A report deliverable will be provided to the Authority that summarizes the field observations, the results of the visual well inspection/photo-documentation, and the hydraulic testing results.

Relief Well Testing