DESCRIPTION OF THE STUDY AREA
Tarnów Waterworks is responsible for supplying the Tarnów agglomeration (200 000 inhabitants) with drinking water based on surface and groundwater resources. From among two groundwater well fields in operation, the Świerczków well field was selected for a project pilot site since it applies two different MAR systems.
At the Świerczków site, groundwater is extracted from the unconfined Quaternary porous aquifer of an average thickness of 4-6 m. The average hydraulic conductivity is 3x10-4 m/s. The static water level is approximately 3,5–5 m below the ground surface. Nearly 7,500 m3/d is extracted from the aquifer supported with 2 MAR schemes, which represents about 25% of the total water production for the Tarnów agglomeration.
Two types of MAR are used in the Świerczków well field: induced riverbank filtration and surface-spreading method. 17 wells (2-3 of them are temporarily inactive) are recharged by the system
of 3 infiltration ditches with a total length of about 620 meters and by the riverbank filtration.
The small thickness of the aquifer and the need to increase the efficiency of the intake and improve groundwater quality by reducing the inflow of water from the industrial zone caused the need to use MAR systems.
Tarnów is a good example of a research area because it has some of the largest nitrogen plants in Europe, which may pose a potential threat to the groundwater intakes located there. For this reason, our research team wants to adapt an appropriate method of increasing groundwater resources, but also aim to develop an early warning monitoring system that will ensure safety and good quality water for the city’s inhabitants. Using the intake in Tarnów as an example, we want to prove that additional water supplies can also be used in areas threatened by deterioration of groundwater quality due to neighboring industrial plants.