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Three classroom picks for Groundwater Week


November 20, 2017
By Ground Water Canada

Nov. 20, 2017, Nashville, TN – The NGWA’s Groundwater Week is fast approaching and this year’s annual networking event provides another excellent slate of learning sessions to complement your time on the trade show floor. Here are just three of many talks that caught our eye.

Flowing Artesian Wells: Control and Closure In British Columbia
Some flowing artesian wells are extremely difficult to control due to very high pressures, shallow and brittle confining layers, discharge rates of several hundred gallons per minute, and the presence of gas. Engineer Thierry Carriou and contractor Richard Cronin of BC Groundwater Consulting Services Ltd. will outline the strategies the company used to successfully bring several flowing wells in the British Columbia under control and thus safely decommission them. These approaches may be useful to others faced with similar challenges, especially out-of-control wells as they can affect the long-term viability of businesses if not successfully addressed.

When and where: Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 3 to 4 p.m. in room 202 AB of the Music City Center.

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A Tale of Two Porosities: Exploring Why Contaminant Transport Doesn’t Always Behave the Way It Should
McElhiney lecturer Kamini Singha will share her research on contaminant transport, which is important in a broad range of scientific disciplines. In hydrology, the ability to quantify subsurface transport is an issue of paramount importance due to problems associated with ground water contamination. Observational challenges and complexity of hydrogeological systems lead to severe prediction challenges with standard measurement techniques. One important example of a prediction challenge is “anomalous” solute-transport behaviour, defined by characteristics such as concentration rebound, long breakthrough tailing, and poor pump-and-treat efficiency.

These phenomena have been observed at research and aquifer-remediation sites in diverse geologic settings, and are not predicted by classical theory. Numerous conceptual models have been developed to explain anomalous transport, such as the presence of two distinct populations of pores, but verification and inference of controlling parameters in these models in situ remains problematic, and often estimated based on data fitting alone.

This lecture presents a rock-physics framework, an experimental methodology, and analytical expressions that can be used to determine parameters controlling anomalous solute transport behaviour from colocated hydrologic and electrical geophysical measurements in ground water and surface water/ground water systems. The long-term goals of this work are to contribute toward improving the predictive capabilities of numerical models and enhancing the fidelity of long-term ground water monitoring frameworks.

When and where: Wednesday, Dec. 6, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Davidson Ballroom of the Music City Center.

Excelling in the Groundwater Industry Panel: How the Professionals Rise to the Challenge
Those who have worked in the ground water industry for any length of time are well aware that few days are typical and no job should be viewed a slam dunk. There are nightmare and challenging jobs that test experience and problem solving abilities – the jobs from which others simply walk away. Respected industry veterans Roger E. Renner, Richard Thron Thomas Downey, Daniel T. Meyer and Arthur E. Becker will share their experiences on a variety of situations that tested their ingenuity, patience and professional skills.

When and where: Thursday, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in room 208AB of the Music City Center.

These sessions are only three of many opportunities the folks at NGWA have organized to help you learn from the experiences of others in the industry. You can study the full schedule here. Also, to help you make the most of your time and connect with others in the industry, organizers have created a handy official app. You can download it here.