Blog   |   Sep 26th, 2017 TRC Experts Set to Make a Splash at Groundwater Resources Association of California Conference

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How does the evolution of a conceptual site model at a site in northern California reflect three decades of regulatory change and improvements in research and site-investigation technology?

And how did engineers use cheese whey – the powdered stuff that’s a key ingredient in mac and cheese – to help deliver sustained remediation of chlorinated solvents contaminating groundwater in Southern California?

These are just two of the topics TRC experts will discuss with attendees of the Groundwater Resources Association of California’s 2017 conference and 26th annual meeting in Sacramento October 3-4. Held at the Hilton Arden West, the conference will highlight innovative approaches and technologies for remediation of groundwater contamination, best practices in sustainable groundwater management and other important water quality issues.

Here’s a look at what TRC will be talking about at GRA Conference 2017:

Evolution of the Conceptual Site Model under Regulatory Changes and Technological Advances – Track 3C, Tuesday, October 3 at 3:40 p.m.

TRC Principal Engineer Amy Wilson, Ph.D., P.E., a hydrogeologist and civil engineer, will be speaking about a study she and her team performed involving nearly three decades of investigation and clean up at a site in the Central Valley. The team’s presentation tells the story of how investigation technologies from drilling to modeling have improved over time, as have the understanding of source areas, fate and transport, and receptors. These efforts have been driven by continuing changes in regulations. The site itself is uniquely challenging, with groundwater approximately 100 feet deep, highly variable geology, and contaminant plumes that are large and diffuse and extend more than 2,500 feet.

Sustained Remediation of Chlorinated Solvents Using In-Situ Formation and Regeneration of Ferrous Sulfide – Track 4C, Wednesday, October 4 at 9 a.m.

TRC Senior Staff Engineer Lee Hovey will talk about a project in Southern California where the production of iron sulfide minerals – aided by cheese whey – has led to sustained remediation of chlorinated solvents and cost savings. Various studies were conducted to develop lines of evidence to demonstrate that ferrous sulfide particles were likely responsible for the sustained treatment. For a sneak peek, check out “Iron Sulfide: The ‘Miracle Mineral’ in Environmental Remediation” on the TRC blog.

In addition to the speaking programs, TRC will present two posters highlighting our work.

A team led by TRC Project Geologist Mike Sellwood, PG, is presenting “Novel Modeling Approach for Sites with Complex, Well-Characterized Geology.’’ This project involved the use of C Tech’s Mining Visualization System (MVS) software to create a three-dimensional model of the geology of a cleanup site. The MVS data was imported into Groundwater Vistas, a user interface for MODFLOW, to serve as the site groundwater flow model. The data transition required Mike and his team to develop of custom code to enable the export/import. Using MVS and Vistas together can reveal data gaps and identify the proper geologic zones for remediation to avoid incomplete or failed site remedies because of poorly characterized subsurface conditions.

In addition, a team led by TRC Senior Staff Engineer Lee Hovey will present “Implementation of Electronic Data Capture Technology: An Iterative Process.’’ This describes how organizations can best convert to electronic records from paper-based documentation and provides some lessons learned about how to best accomplish the transition, such as:

  • Understanding critical need for continuous collaboration among field technicians, task managers, program administrators, and IT managers in charge of devices.
  • The importance of designing for flexibility in electronic forms to ensure all pertinent information is captured during evolving field work.  
  • Why electronic data capture doesn’t replace the need for thorough quality assurance and quality control.

TRC is honored to discuss our broad experience with groundwater resources and our innovative approaches to environmental remediation, and we look forward to catching up with GRA attendees in Sacramento.

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Blog Author

Amy Wilson

Amy Wilson is a civil engineer and hydrogeologist with 20 years of environmental consulting experience. Her technical expertise includes: groundwater and soil vapor fate and transport; conceptual site/hydrogeologic modeling; numerical modeling; water quality; and feasibility analyses, with an emphasis on developing solutions for large-scale, complex sites. Ms. Wilson earned a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and is a registered engineer in the State of California.