Kimberly-Clark Inc.

Groundwater Supply Well Investigation

Lowering capital costs through identification of a high-yield groundwater aquifer

Kimberly-Clark Inc. (KC) operates a tissue mill in Huntsville, ON. Water for the mill is withdrawn from the Big East River, which has high Total Suspended Solids (TSS) concentrations. This necessitates frequent replacement of the filtering equipment used by KC to make tissue. A groundwater source would have a much lower TSS value, thereby significantly reducing the replacement rate of tissue filters and leading to long-term capital cost savings for KC.

Palmer Environmental Consulting Group Inc. (PECG) was retained to identify an aquifer capable of supplying 182-227 L/min (40-50 gpm) of groundwater for up to 24 hours/day for the mill. Based on geological mapping, water well records and a site visit, PECG identified a thick glaciofluvial sand and gravel aquifer near the mill site. PECG oversaw the installation of a test well within the aquifer, collected groundwater chemistry samples and conducted a step-drawdown pumping test to determine aquifer yield.

Chemical tests showed that the groundwater source has a much lower TSS concentration and more suitable geochemistry for the KC mill. Aquifer yield is expected to exceed 227 L/min and not impact local groundwater users or the natural environment.