This report considers only the groundwater possibilities at this site. No mention is made of the surface water possibilities.
Three test holes were drilled in early March 1965 by the Department of Public Works in the alluvial terrace at the site of the new Provincial Gaol near Peace River. I feel that these have quite adequately tested the groundwater potential of the terrace at this location. I would like to briefly summarize and comment on the program.
Test hole #1 - approximately 700 feet from the river's edge: drilled to a total depth of 82 feet and encountered very salty water, 20,000 ppm T.D.S. and 11,540 ppm chloride and stayed of the same chemistry after bailing for 6 1/2 hours at about 30 gpm. Water first encountered at about 40 feet and rose in hole.
Test hole #2 - 293 feet from hole #1 and approximately 1,000 feet from the river's edge: drilled to 43 1/2 feet; water rose overnight to 34.25 feet from ground level. This was potable water (1,400 ppm total solids and 115 ppm Cl). The recommended maximum concentration of chloride and total solids, respectively, in drinking water is 435 and 2000 ppm in Alberta, and 250 and 1000 ppm by U.S. Public Health Service Standards. In addition, the water is very hard and quite high in sulfates and alkalinity. The hole was deepened to 53.25 feet, and the chloride concentration increased to 2250 ppm and the total solids to 4974 ppm. This hole was not bailed.
Test hole #3 - approximately 40 feet from river's edge: drilled to 20 feet. Static water level was 16.3 feet from ground level. The water analyzed at 88 ppm chloride and 1,240 ppm total solids. The hole was deepened to 25 feet and bailed for one hour at 10 gpm; the chloride content rose to 400 ppm and the total solids to 1360 ppm.
The results of the program indicate that a thin skin of potable water merges downwards through a transitional zone to very salty water. A well bottomed in the potable water zone and bailed (or pumped) for any length of time at relatively low rates of pumping tends to bring up salt water from the underlying zone. The high chloride content in the well water nearest the river is significant because it indicates that the proximity of the river has little freshening on the water in the terrace.
Tokarsky, O. (1965): Groundwater possibilities in the area of provincial gaol site near Peace River, Alberta, 4-83-22-W5; Research Council of Alberta, RCA/AGS Open File Report 1965-02, 16 p.