Monday, 17 August 2015

What is a dipwell?

In order to measure the water table (the level of water underground) on our Community Science environmental monitoring sites, our volunteers install dipwells. These are tubes which sit vertically the peat, and are drilled full of small holes to allow them to fill with water, which can then be measured.

Tom can be seen here drilling small holes into a dipwell, to allow it to fill with water.

When a dipwell is installed, a small amount of open tube sticks out above ground level. This open hole is the fitted with a cap (see pictures below). This is not to stop water from entering, but in fact to prevent small mammals like voles from falling down the tube!

The caps must have a hole drilled in them to allow the air pressure to be equal inside and outside the tube. If the pressures were different, the water level could be affected. After a while these caps can become bleached by the sun (see photo) or even chewed up by passing animals, so our volunteers keep an eye on them an replace occasionally them when needed.

If you'd like to find out more about environmental monitoring on the moors and how you can get involved, head to our website today:

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