Keywords: groundwater contamination, heterogeneous aquifers, cleanup rate, analytical models, pore volume exchange, contaminant flushing rates, environmental pollution, water pollution, environmental remediation, modelling
Estimating contaminant-flushing rates for heterogeneous aquifers
Groundwater remediation evaluations typically include cleanup time projections. Current batch flushing-rate equations and analytical models often used to estimate groundwater cleanup rates typically underestimate cleanup times, with a major factor the flawed assumption of aquifer homogeneity. Numerical modelling of groundwater flow and contaminant transport is a time-intensive and costly alternative. An analytical modelling approach has been developed to quickly and cost effectively approximate realistic contaminant cleanup rates, factoring aquifer heterogeneity into the process. The mathematical relationships predict residual dissolved concentrations and average pumped concentrations over time, and also the time required to meet a concentration standard.