Characterizing Groundwater Resources, Tracing Contaminants, and Improving: Environmental Investigation with New Technologies

Shao-Chih (Ted) Way, Ph.D., P.E. - In-Situ Inc. , 22 October, 2010

Groundwater is a major source of water for municipalities, industry, and agriculture, and the quantity and quality of groundwater are of paramount importance. Using instruments developed with new technology vastly improves the quality and efficiency of water-level and water-quality data collection and drastically reduces the cost of monitoring groundwater and surface water. Telemetry for real-time data retrieval adds to the effectiveness of the monitoring program.

Groundwater contamination is a growing concern. Once a contaminant reaches the subsurface, groundwater will transport the contaminant and threaten water supplies. In an effort to help protect groundwater resources, groundwater levels and key water-quality parameters are monitored in wells.

Hydrologic tests, such as pumping tests, slug tests, and tracer studies, are generally performed in target aquifers. These tests provide information about the aquifer’s hydrologic parameters and the transport mechanism of contaminants in a groundwater system. This presentation will discuss strategies for performing pumping tests, slug tests, and tracer studies and for monitoring key water-quality indicators with new smart water-level and water-quality instruments.