Course Catalog

Groundwater Geochemistry for Chemists

This course is designed to give chemists and those in allied disciplines an introduction to chemical processes important in natural and contaminated soil and groundwater environments. These processes include solution complexation, mineral dissolution/precipitation, oxidation/reduction, adsorption/desorption, and acid/base reactions. They result in the natural composition of soil porewater and aquifer groundwater, and they influence the release of contaminants from source areas and the fate and transport of contaminants along subsurface flow paths.

This course will include information on proper site characterization of the solution and solid phases to identify important water/rock processes occurring in the geochemical system. It will also contain an introduction to calculation methods using publicly available computer codes to quantify current reactions and to predict the response of the system to potential future remedial actions. The fate and transport of common groundwater contaminants will be discussed, as will alternatives for aquifer remediation.

Environmental site characterization and contaminant remediation has been an important industry for the past 35 years. A dearth of chemists and geochemists practicing in the industry during that time has resulted in work that has ignored the chemical realities of contamination. Consequently, considerable time and expense have been expended trying to remediate sites by brute force, physical methods (pumping and treating groundwater) often leading to little success because not only is groundwater contaminated, but the aquifer solids have also been impacted. The result has too often been re-contamination of groundwater after cessation of pumping. Geochemistry provides the means to better understand aquifer geochemical systems and to design more effective treatment methods. To that end, in situ aquifer treatment has been growing in importance over the last 10 years. In this approach, reactive chemicals are injected into the subsurface to enhance contaminant destruction (organics) or immobilization (inorganics). Improvements to remediation require the contributions of chemists and geochemists that have a basic understanding of chemical processes and aquifer water/rock interactions to select appropriate reactants, use them in an effective manner, and accurately interpret the resulting effects. This course will acquaint chemists with the important and growing groundwater remediation industry, which is becoming more and more reliant on chemical solutions.

Course Details

Key Topics

The main ideas that a student will take away from the course:

  • Basic water/rock/gas phase interactions
  • Proper sample collection
  • Data interpretation
  • Contaminant fate and transport
  • Geochemical modeling
  • Aquifer remediation

Information

This course is designed to give chemists and those in allied disciplines an introduction to chemical processes important in natural and contaminated soil and groundwater environments. These processes include solution complexation, mineral dissolution/precipitation, oxidation/reduction, adsorption/desorption, and acid/base reactions. They result in the natural composition of soil porewater and aquifer groundwater, and they influence the release of contaminants from source areas and the fate and transport of contaminants along subsurface flow paths.

This course will include information on proper site characterization of the solution and solid phases to identify important water/rock processes occurring in the geochemical system. It will also contain an introduction to calculation methods using publicly available computer codes to quantify current reactions and to predict the response of the system to potential future remedial actions. The fate and transport of common groundwater contaminants will be discussed, as will alternatives for aquifer remediation.

Who Should Attend

This course is appropriate for hydrologists, hydrogeologists, chemical engineers, environmental engineers, geochemists, geologists, risk assessors, environmental project managers, federal and state regulators and educators (civil & environmental engineering, geology, chemistry, hydrology).

Benefits

  • Straightforward, practical introduction to all the important geochemistry processes that impact water quality
  • Useful aid to the investigator designing a field sampling program because it discusses why and how to collect the necessary data, simple quality assurance checks, and methods of data interpretation to identify active geochemical processes in the subsurface
  • Numerous examples of the application of geochemical fundamentals in the understanding of site-specific conditions. Aids the chemist in understanding why groundwater has a particular composition for many site conditions
  • Introduction to geochemical modeling and its use in simulating geochemical processes active in an aquifer and designing remediation systems
  • Extensive coverage of the occurrence and mobility of both organic and inorganic contaminants in the environment

Agenda

    Day 1 – Geochemical Processes

  • The Geochemical System, Chemical Reactions, and Data Collection Requirements
    • Definitions, Concentration Units
    • Solution Electrical Balance
    • Trilinear Diagrams
  • Gas Phase Reactions and the Carbonate System
    • Henry’s Law
    • Partial Pressure
    • Solution Speciation
    • pH
  • Mineral Dissolution/Precipitation
    • Chemical Equilibrium
    • Mineral Solubility
    • Solution Factors affecting Solubility
    • Reactive Minerals
  • Oxidation/Reduction Reactions
    • Electron Transfer
    • Acid Mine Drainage
    • Landfill Environment
    • Eh Measurement
  • Adsorption/Desorption Reactions
    • Surface Complexation
    • Kds and other Isotherms
    • Retardation Factor
    • Solid Phase Adsorption Characterization
    Day 2 – Contaminant Migration and Remediation

  • Geochemical Processes Controlling Fate and Transport of Inorganic Contaminants
    • Natural Attenuation
    • Adsorption/Desorption Effects
    • Mineral Precipitation/Dissolution Effects
    • Limitations on Natural Attenuation
    • Conservative Contaminants
  • Organic Contaminants
    • Volatilization
    • Gas Solubility in Water
    • Solubility of Organic Liquids
    • Adsorption of Organics
    • Biodegradation
  • Contaminant Fate and Transport Modeling
    • Conceptual Geochemical Site Models
    • Computer Codes for Geochemical Modeling
    • Examples
  • Geochemistry of Remediation
    • Types of Remediation
    • Remediation Processes
    • Impact of Aquifer Environment
  • Remediation Examples/Case Histories/Modeling
    • Ba, Mn, and Zn Immobilization
    • Fluoride Speciation and Treatment
    • Arsenic Treatment by Adsorption
    • Use of Zero Valent Iron for Remediation
  • Class Exercise on Site Characterization and Contaminant Transport
    • Nitrate, Cu, Cr, Zn, and BTEX Contaminant Sources
    • Site Sampling Plan
    • Data Evaluation/Interpretation
    • Estimating Contaminant Migration in the Aquifer

Course Locations

Date

TBA

Check-in opens at 7:30 a.m. on the first day of the course.

Course runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

Register Online Register Via Mail

Venue


Pricing
  Member Non-Member
Advanced $1,495 $1,695
Standard $1,895 $2,095

The course fee includes a course binder and a continental breakfast each day.

Five for Four! Register five people for one course, one person for five courses, or any combination in between and your fifth registration is free. Note: This discount is only available if you register by fax or mail and mention this discount. May not be combined with any other offer.

About the Instructor

  • Bill Deutsch

    has spent thirty years in the groundwater industry as a research geochemist (13 years at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) and an applied geochemist (17 years) with environmental consulting firms.