Helicopter flies low in Cedar Rapids for groundwater study - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Helicopter flies low in Cedar Rapids for groundwater study

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Photo courtesy of USGS. Photo courtesy of USGS.

A helicopter is flying just 200 feet above the ground in Cedar Rapids, dangling a large sensor 100 feet below it. 

It's part of a groundwater study that will help the city better understand their water supply system. 

The United States Geological Survey or USGS is doing the study. 

It's technology the city hasn't used until now.

Bruce Jacobs, Cedar Rapids Utilities Engineering Manager explains how it works. 

"Transmitting a signal down into the ground and then measuring the degree to which it  reflects back," he says. 

Jacobs says the technology has been available for decades but is more commonly used for other purposes. 
"It's been used extensively in the oil business, mining concerns have used this. It's relatively new in the field of helping to understand how groundwater systems work," he told us. 

The city uses wells for their water and this technology can help find good places to put them. 
 "The study and the model that comes out of it that the USGS is assembling will help us to understand where the more productive places to look might be," Jacobs says. 

The helicopter will be flying in the area through Friday and possibly into Saturday. 
Results from the study will be available next year. 


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