One of the more common techniques for controlling the migration of contaminant plumes is the use of pumping wells to produce desired changes in local flow rates and hydraulic gradients. When seeking to optimize an array of pumping well locations and discharge rates, it is important to consider the effects that non-ideal aquifer conditions, well construction and demographic constraints produce. Heterogeneous and anisotropic aquifer conditions seriously complicate siting and discharge rate requirements for pumping wells because of the distorted cones of depression that result from withdrawing water in such settings. Proper screen selection, gravel pack emplacement and well development are crucial factors affecting the operational characteristics and economics of pumping wells; these factors are generally recognized, though often undervalued. The impacts that well depth and diameter, and screen length and position have on the effectiveness of pumping efforts are also often undervalued, with detrimental consequences.