Clogging and its management

Clogging Working Group

Aims: To produce a 2nd clogging monograph with the focus of this on methods to manage clogging in MAR operations. Papers are invited to form chapters within this monograph.  This applies to infiltration systems and well injection.  As a related objective, papers are needed to help move towards standardization of methods to predict clogging for different source water treatment processes for a particular soil or aquifer.

Leader:  Russell Martin (Aqueon Pty Ltd)  South Australia:

Timeframe: Second monograph aimed for 2019. Papers needed 2016-2018.

How to contribute: Please contact Russell directly or using this contact form :

Achievements: First monograph produced 2010-2013.

Citation for first monograph:
Martin R (ed.) (2013) Clogging issues associated with managed aquifer recharge methods. IAH Commission on Managing Aquifer Recharge.   .

This monograph is 212 pages and linked file is 10MB.  Contents list is given below.  

Click clogging_monograph to download 10MB file free.

Contents                                                                                                                                                 Page

Introduction (R .Martin)                                                                                                                               4

Overview of clogging processes during managed aquifer recharge 
Clogging in Managed Aquifer Recharge: Flow, Geochemistry and Clay Colloids (D. Mays)                                14

Clogging studies laboratory column experiments                                                                                     25
Reclaimed Water for Aquifer Storage and Recovery: A Column Study of Well Clogging (S. Rinck-Pfeiffer, P. Dillon, S. Ragusa, J. Hutson, H. Fallowfield, G. de Marsily and P. Pavelic)                                                                26

Potential for Injection Well Clogging in an Anoxic Sandstone Aquifer Receiving Fresh, Deoxygenated but Chlorinated Injectant (J Vandersalm, C. Smitt, K. Barry, P. Dillon, S.Davidge, D. Gornall, H.Seear, and D. Ife)   34

Porous Media Filter Test in Order to Prevent Well Clogging during Groundwater Reinjection due to Ferrous and Ferric Mineral Precipitation (R. Ruemenapp, C. Hartwig, S. Akhatar and M. Nishigaki)                                      50

Laboratory Experiments in Porous Media in Order to Predict Particle Remobilization (C. Hartwig, M Nishigaki, T. Takuya and R Ruemenapp)                                                                                                                          65

Clogging associated with infiltration basins                                                                                              76
Soil Clogging Phenomena in Vertical Flow (A. Benamar)                                                                                 77

Evaluation of Potential Gas Clogging Associated with Managed Aquifer Recharge from a Spreading Basin, Southwestern Utah, USA (V. Heilweil and T Marston)                                                                                     84

Clogging Phenomena Related to Surface Water Recharge Facilities (A. Hutchison, M. Milczarek and M. Banerjee)                                                                                                                                                                    95

Surface Spreading Recharge Facility Clogging ‒ The Orange County Water District Experience (A.Hutchison, D. Phipps, G. Rodriquez, G. Woodside and M. Milczarek)                                                                                107

Practical Criteria in the Design and Maintenance of MAR Facilities in Order to Minimise Clogging Impacts Obtained from Two Different Operative Sites in Spain (A. E. Fernandez Escalante)                                                      119

Clogging associated with well injection                                                                                                  155
Application of Large Scale Managed Aquifer Recharge in Mine Water Management, Cloudbreak Mine, Western Australia (B. Willis-Jones and I. Brandes de Roos)                                                                                      156

Clogging of Deep Well Infiltration Recharge Systems in the Netherlands (B. Gonzalez)                                  163

Case Study: Recharge of Potable and Tertiary-treated Wastewater into a Deep, Confined Sandstone Aquifer in Perth, Western Australia (K. Johnston, M. Martin and S. Higginson)                                                             174

Domestic Scale Rainwater ASR Observations of Clogging and Effectiveness of its Management (K. Barry, P Dillon and P. Pavelic)                                                                                                                                         184

Characterisation of Clogging during Urban Stormwater Aquifer Storage and Recovery Operations in a low Permeability Fractured Rock Aquifer (D. Page and P. Dillon)                                                                        193

Identification and Management of Clogging in a Fractured Rock Aquifer during ASR Operations (R. Martin)     200

Clogging rehabilitation and remediation methods                                                                                  206
Clogging Remediation Methods to Restore Well Injection Capacity (R. Martin)                                               207

(this last chapter (1.3MB) is also separately downloadable here )



Significant advances in the areas of geochemistry, microbiology and aquifer hydraulics regarding the science of recharge of water to aquifers has been made over the past decade. With the increased uptake of managed aquifer recharge as water resources management practice that can augment traditional water supplies, or address a variety of legacy issues associated with overuse, a greater appreciation of how complex the problems associated with aquifer recharge, and in particular clogging, is becoming apparent.

This monograph presents a collection of papers that highlight the work being carried out within this area. It is intended to raise the awareness of practitioners and operators alike of how clogging may impact a managed aquifer recharge scheme, but with the appropriate level of investigation, can be effectively managed.

A MAR scheme will invariably experience clogging of some type, and to some degree, during its operational life. To recognise the potential for clogging and employ the appropriate mitigation or remediation measures, either through engineering design or through operational management practices, requires specialist knowledge and skills. It should also be noted that remediation methods to address clogging are very site specific and what works in one hydrogeological setting may not always be successful in another location. Indeed remediation approaches may differ between injection bores across the same scheme. Effective management and remediation of clogging is assisted by the effective dissemination of information and learning from practitioners with considerable operational experience.

Clogging should not be used as a justification as to why a MAR scheme was unsuccessful in a particular hydrogeological setting. With the appropriate level of investigation, inclusive of detailed characterisation of the target aquifer, source water quality, receiving water quality and the implementation of effective operational practices, clogging can be managed. Where clogging does occur it can also be effectively mitigated using a variety of techniques.

This monograph is not complete and addresses only some of the clogging issues associated with both surface infiltration basins and injection via bores. It does not address potential clogging issues associated with some methods of MAR such as bank filtration. This monograph is available online and has been structured so that it can be easily added to. The intent is to continually build on our operating knowledge of clogging and remediation methods and I would encourage all hydrogeologists practicing in this specialist field to share their experiences regarding clogging by submitting a paper to myself for review and inclusion within future revisions of this monograph.

Russell R Martin


Example citation for a chapter in monograph:
Rinck-Pfeiffer S, Dillon P, Ragusa S, Hutson J, Fallowfield H, de Marsily G and Pavelic P. (2013) Reclaimed Water for Aquifer Storage and Recovery: A Column Study of Well Clogging. In: Martin R (ed.) Clogging issues associated with managed aquifer recharge methods. IAH Commission on Managing Aquifer Recharge. 26–33.