The 2011 Solinst Symposium proved to be another successful forum for attendees and presenters to discuss and share their ideas and experiences. This year's theme was 'Enhanced Monitoring and Remedial Methods for Contaminated Groundwater'. The event brought speakers from North American Universities, as well as practitioners from environmental consulting firms and remediation companies.
One topic that all speakers touched on, was due to heterogeneity in the subsurface, the need for high-resolution data and multiple lines of evidence when characterizing a contaminated site and determining the fate and transport of contaminants in groundwater. Tools and techniques that limit the uncertainty due to heterogeneity, and the results of studies and experiments were presented.
Rick Devlin discussed the importance of high-resolution groundwater velocity measurements in contaminant hydrology, and focused on an instrument that can do this – the point velocity probe (PVP).
One area where the PVP could be used is in the capillary fringe. Jim Barker discussed the capillary fringe in his presentation. Through the work of one of his graduate students, he showed that contaminants can exist in the capillary fringe, and are capable of moving.
Gary Wealthall presented data from an experiment done at the SABRE site in the UK. He discussed how the DNAPL source zone was characterized, and the difficulties in estimating the actual mass before, during, and after remediation.
To follow-up Gary's presentation, Ryan Wilson further discussed the experiment done at SABRE. Ryan focused on the performance assessment of the remediation strategy at the site, based on long-screen well data and data from multilevel transects.
Rick McGregor's talk looked at how heterogeneity influences the distribution of remediation reagents in the subsurface. He presented the results of a field study that showed how reagent type, injection method and pressure effect distribution.
Kirk Hatfield focused on the value of flux data. He showed the importance of using flux to determine contaminated site mass balance, mass leaving a contaminant source zone, and mass in the plume. He discussed how the Passive Fluxmeter (PFM) could be used.