The riverbank filtration plant in S. Alessio (Lucca): monitoring and modeling activity within EU the FP7 MARSOL project

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Iacopo Borsi *
Giorgio Mazzanti
Alessio Barbagli
Rudy Rossetto
(*) Corresponding Author:
Iacopo Borsi |


The riverbank filtration (RBF) scheme along the Serchio River, Lucca (Tuscany – Italy) allows abstraction of an overall amount of about 1 m3/s groundwater providing drinking water for about 300000 people of the coastal Tuscany (town of Lucca, Pisa and Livorno). Water is derived by means of an RBF scheme by a set of ten vertical wells inducing riverbank filtration into a high yield (10-2 m2/s transmissivity) sand and gravel aquifer including a downstream weir to raise river head and increasing water storage in the aquifer along the river reach. Within the framework of the MARSOL FPVII-ENV-2013 project, the Sant’Alessio well field will be used to demonstrate the sustainability, by a technical, social and market point of view, and the benefits of RBF managing versus the unmanaged option. The Serchio experimental site will involve merging existing and proved technologies, including continuous monitoring of several parameters and analytes and the development of dedicated software tools, to produce a Decision Support System (DSS) based on remote data acquisition and transmission and GIS physically-based fully distributed numerical modeling to continuously monitor and manage the well field, reducing also, prone to error, human operated activities. A set of sensors will be installed to monitor by a quantitative and qualitative point of view hydrologic variables in the river water, in the aquifer, the unsaturated zone and the wells. Data will be continuously acquired and remotely transmitted to a server where they will first be checked for consistency and then sent to a database for processing in a dedicated modelling environment included in the DSS and equipped with an alert system to inform water managers about the scheme performance and reaching limits of infiltration rates or water quality indices. The DSS along with the installed sensors, data transmission and storage tools will constitute a prototype whose potential market exploitation will be tested.

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