The Practical Limits of Packer Testing

Steven Pells

Packer testing allows estimation of the hydraulic conductivity of the ground through analysis of an induced flow rate into the ground under various controlled water pressures. Consideration of the physical and practical limits of injecting and monitoring such flows and pressures is used to determine the limits of hydraulic conductivity that can reasonably be estimated from packer tests. A design chart is presented based on these practical limits and consideration of the fundamental mathematics underpinning packer test interpretation. The chart is proposed as a useful reference when planning or reviewing field testing programs.