Groundwater 101 – what is groundwater?
We've had lots of interest in our story on how raised groundwater levels are contributing to standing water issues across our district
We thought we’d take a closer look at groundwater over the coming weeks to answer some of the questions you’ve put to us.
Let’s start with the basics – what is groundwater and why does it matter?
Groundwater is water that exists underground in saturated zones beneath the ground. The upper surface of saturated zones is commonly known as the water table.
Groundwater tends to flow beneath the surface from high level areas to low-lying areas, and eventually comes out into waterways. The speed at which it moves depends on the types of soil, sand and rock it must travel through, and how saturated that material is already.
When we have consecutive rain events, like we've experienced over the last year, the ground can become so saturated that water can't drain quickly enough and this can cause surface ponding.
This is very similar to flooding – but unlike stormwater flooding, it stays for a long period of time, and can be more difficult to mitigate.
Next week, we take a closer look at what we can do about it.
In the meantime, you can read more about the basics at Groundwater.