WESTERVILLE, OH -- The engineering, consulting, and management firm ARCADIS won an Outstanding Groundwater Project Award from the National Ground Water Association for outstanding science, engineering, and innovation in the area of protecting groundwater.
The award will be presented in December at the 2013 NGWA Groundwater Expo and Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
This award recognizes ARCADIS’ innovations and advancements in the Idaho project Numerical Analysis of Groundwater/Surface Water Interference at Blackfoot Bridge.
The project involved an open pit to mine phosphate ore. Such mining has the potential to impact surface water and groundwater resources through the release of metals such as selenium and other constituents into the environment. Moreover, the Blackfoot River in the area is designated as a Special Resource Water needing protection to maintain outstanding characteristics and current beneficial uses.
ARCADIS developed a numerical groundwater flow and contaminant fate-and-transport model to support the impact analysis for the Environmental Impact Statement. A Record of Decision has been issued by the U.S. Department of Interior permitting the development of the open pit mine. The key component of the impact statement that led to acceptance of the proposed mine was the complex three-dimensional flow-and-transport model that ARCADIS developed.
Moving forward, the client has selected laminated geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) consisting of a layer of natural clay woven between two layers of synthetic cloth for reclamation. This will be the first time that laminated GCLs will be widely used in a western phosphate mine, making the Blackfoot Bridge an environmentally advanced mine.
The numerical analysis on the groundwater and surface water interference also was recognized in the academic field. ARCADIS was invited to present the Blackfoot Bridge project analysis in different international conferences such as the International Conference of the Geological Society of America and the NGWA Groundwater Summit.
NGWA, a nonprofit organization composed of U.S. and international groundwater professionals — contractors, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, scientists, and engineers — is dedicated to advancing groundwater knowledge. NGWA’s vision is to be the leading groundwater association that advocates the responsible development, management, and use of water.