The study of the character, availability and quality of groundwater…

Aqua Earth in business since 2002


Geohydrology is necessary to understand, quantify and  manage groundwater resources. Hydrogeology is the study of groundwater – it is sometimes referred to as geohydrology or groundwater hydrologyHydrogeology deals with how water gets into the ground (recharge), how it flows in the subsurface (through aquifers) and how groundwater interacts with the surrounding soil and rock (the geology)

Aqua Earth provides a range of specialist geohydrology services that include:


  • Groundwater feasibility studies
  • Exploration of groundwater studies
  • Construction site water supplies
  • Groundwater supply cost benefit modelling and assessments
    • Recharge estimation
    • Cost-benefit modelling
    • Risk assessment
    • Site assessments / characterisation


  • Borehole Siting
  • Drilling Supervision
  • Pump Test Supervision
  • Pump test analysis and flow characterisation


  • Groundwater feasibility study
  • Mine dewatering assessment
  • Mine dewatering design and determine inflow rates
  • Groundwater cost assessment
  • Quantification of long-term impact of dewatering on aquifers
  • Develop dewatering scenarios


  • Aerial photo and satellite imagery interpretations
  • Desktop geohydrological  studies
  • Regional hydrogeological mapping
  • Mapping and zoning
  • Detailed foundation investigation and recommendations 
  • Earthwork and foundation design and monitoring


  • Site selection of waste sites and tailing dams 
  • Modelling of groundwater flow rate and direction and contamination migration rate/s
  • Recommendations on remediation strategies
  • Determining groundwater protection zones


Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of lithologic formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock become completely saturated with water is called the water table.

Groundwater is recharged from, and eventually flows to, the surface naturally; natural discharge often occurs at springs and seeps, and can form oases or wetlands.Groundwater is also often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells. The study of the distribution and movement of groundwater is hydrogeology, also called groundwater hydrology.

Groundwater Monitoring

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Testing Services

Testing services throughout most of the world the most common contamination of raw water sources is from human sewage and in particular human faecal pathogens and parasites. In 2006, waterborne diseases were estimated to cause 1.8 million deaths each year while about 1.1 billion people lacked proper drinking water.[1]. It is clear that people in the developing world need to have access to good quality water in sufficient quantity, water purification technology and availability and distribution systems for water. In many parts of the world the only sources of water are from small streams often directly contaminated by sewage. However, even where wells are used this does not eliminate the risk of contamination

Most water requires some type of treatment before use, sometimes even water from deep wells or springs. The extent of treatment depends on the quality of the water. Appropriate technology options in water treatment include both community-scale and household-scale point-of-use (POU) designs.[2]

The most reliable way to kill microbial pathogenic agents is to heat water to a rolling boil[3] but this requires abundant sources of fuel and is very onerous on the households especially where it is difficult to store boiled water in sterile conditions. Other techniques, such as varying forms of filtration, chemical disinfection, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation (including solar UV) have been demonstrated in an array of randomized control trials to significantly reduce levels of water-borne disease among users in low-income countries.[4]

Over the past decade, an increasing number of field-based studies have been undertaken to determine the success of POU measures in reducing waterborne disease. The ability of POU options to reduce disease is a function of both their ability to remove microbial pathogens if properly applied and such social factors as ease of use and cultural appropriateness. Technologies may generate more (or less) health benefit than their lab-based microbial removal performance would suggest.

The current priority of the proponents of POU treatment is to reach large numbers of low-income households on a sustainable basis. Few POU measures have reached significant scale thus far, but efforts to promote and commercially distribute these products to the world’s poor have only been under way for a few years.

Parameters for drinking water quality typically fall under two categories: chemical/physical and microbiological. Chemical/physical parameters include heavy metals, trace organic compounds, total suspended solids (TSS), and turbidity. Microbiological parameters include Coliform bacteria, E. coli, and specific pathogenic species of bacteria (such as cholera-causing Vibrio cholerae), viruses, and protozoan parasites.

Chemical parameters tend to pose more of a chronic health risk through buildup of heavy metals although some components like nitrates/nitrites and arsenic may have a more immediate impact. Physical parameters affect the aesthetics and taste of the drinking water and may complicate the removal of microbial pathogens.

Originally, fecal contamination was determined with the presence of coliform bacteria, a convenient marker for a class of harmful fecal pathogens. The presence of fecal coliforms (like E. Coli) serves as an indication of contamination by sewage. Additional contaminants include protozoan oocysts such as Cryptosporidium sp., Giardia lamblia, Legionella, and viruses (enteric).[5] Microbial pathogenic parameters are typically of greatest concern because of their immediate health risk.

Aqua Earth provide specialist sampling routines for all groundwater related monitoring including industrial, mining, agriculture, domestic and waste sites.

With the use of our specialist field equipment we are able to provide basic on-site measurements, the detailed analysis however are obtained using accredited laboratories.

We are currently using a network of both local and international accredited laboratories, depending on the site specific requirements and sensitivity of the monitoring data collected.

Water Qualities are reported against the following standards -depending on the clients requirements:

  • SABS(SANS -series),
  • DWA,
  • WHO (World Health Organisation) and others.
  • Yield Testing
  • Slug tests used in low yielding boreholes
  • Step tests to determine the yield that you will use during the constant rate test as well as the effectiveness of your borehole
  • Constant rate tests this could be run anything from four hours to months at a time – depending on the importance of the borehole and/or aquifer tested
  • Recovery testing measuring the rate of rise of the water level within the borehole after stopping the pump.This assist in determining whether dewatering has taken place or not
  • Borehole Yield Certificate Banks require this certificate prior to awarding/approving finance
  • Borehole Testing
  • Individual borehole testing: for the purposes of determining the sustainable long term yield of your borehole determining aquifer
  • Determining the correct size pump to install in you specific borehole
  • Characteristics to assist in modelling and long term management of aquifers
  • Cluster borehole testing and monitoring:
  • Determining zones of influence
  • Determine best dewatering practices
  • Determine effects on pollution plume development

Most water requires some type of treatment before use, sometimes even water from deep wells or springs. The extent of treatment depends on the quality of the water. Appropriate technology options in water treatment include both community-scale and household-scale point-of-use (POU) designs.[2]

a geohydrology request