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Sampling Domestic Wells for Contamination: Overcoming Concentration Averaging Issues

  • Wed, March 13, 2019
  • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • CTCPA Education Center, Rocky Hill, CT
  • 5


  • For EPOC Professional and Associate members only.
  • Reserved for government employees and students only.
  • For non-members. Please consider joining EPOC to receive discount member rate.

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Sampling Domestic Wells for Contamination: Overcoming Concentration Averaging Issues

Continuing Education Credits:

This is the first offering of this seminar. The CT State Board of Examiners of Environmental Professionals (LEP Board) has approved this course for 4.0 hours of continuing education credits (CTLEP-481).  Application has been made to the MA LSP Board for technical credits.

Time and Location:

This seminar will be held on Wed, March 13, 2019 and runs from 8 AM - 12 PM at the CTCPA Education Center, 716 Brook St., Ste. 100, Rocky Hill, CT. For directions, see: http://www.ctcpas.org/Content/About/Driving-Directions.aspx

Instructors (see bios below):

  • Dr. Gary Robbins, University of Connecticut
  • Mark Higgins, University of Connecticut

Course Fees:

EPOC Members: $150, Non-members: $200, Gov't Employee/Students : $75
Continental breakfast included.

Course Overview:

The collection of accurate water quality samples is essential in evaluating contaminated groundwater conditions. This is most acute when assessing contaminant risk associated with domestic wells. However, there is a host of factors that can impact concentrations determined using common sampling approaches and result in data that is not representative of the drinking water risk. The objective of this course is to review issues associated with sampling domestic wells for contamination and practical methods for overcoming these issues.

The course will begin with a review of factors that can influence sample water quality given common approaches to sampling domestic wells. Next the course will introduce flow models that provide a means of quantifying concentration influences. Then we will review several case studies to illustrate real world issues and assessments. These studies include road salt and arsenic contamination issues in domestic wells which are pervasive in the northeast. This will also include a data analysis exercise. Finally, we will discuss means to practically overcome these issues.

Participants will learn methods for improving sampling approaches to obtain more reliable and consistent information. They will learn how to establish a more effective monitoring protocol for domestic wells in an attempt to overcome biases due to sample averaging which could lead to misinterpretations of data. We will also review the tools, procedures, and methods that may be available for characterizing the fracture conditions influencing contaminant concentrations in wells. Participants will gain an understanding of the limitations of current methods with sampling and issues associated with interpreting that data.

    Course Outline:

    • 8:00 - 8:10: Introduction
    • 8:10 - 9:10: Issues associated with sampling domestic wells for contamination
    • 9:10 - 9:25: Break
    • 9:25 - 10:25: Modeling fracture flow influences on representative sampling
    • 10:25 - 11:25: Sampling case studies (Arsenic and Salt) and data analysis exercise
    • 11:25 - 12:00: Overcoming concentration averaging issues

      Instructor Bios:

      Dr. Gary Robbins:

      Gary Robbins is a Professor of Geosciences and Natural Resources in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. Dr. Robbins obtained a Ph.D. at Texas A&M University in Geology specializing in Hydrogeology. He began his professional career working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, then after obtaining his Ph.D. became an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M. He then went to California and worked for Woodward-Clyde Consultants, an environmental consulting firm. Dr. Robbins is a Registered Geologist and Certified Engineering Geologist in California and Certified Professional Geologist with AIPG, and member of many scientific societies in his field. Dr. Robbins’ is well published in the scientific literature and has received awards for his teaching, research and outreach. He is the 2016-2017 University of Connecticut Innovative Teaching Awardee. His research focus is on deciphering fractured bedrock hydrogeology and has been conducting studies in the U.S. and Italy.

      Mark Higgins:

      Mark received a B.S. in Geosciences in 2011 from University of Connecticut. Before returning to UConn to pursue his Ph.D., he spent six years working for Flexible Liner Underground Technologies (FLUTe). As the East Coast Field Manager, he focused on borehole transmissivity profiling methods, and multi-level sampling systems design and implementation. Mark’s former work involved environmental site characterizations across the USA, Canada, Caribbean, and Europe. His current research involves characterizing arsenic and road salt contamination in wells, analyzing bacteria in groundwater to identify contaminant source indicators, and developing numerical models to improve standard groundwater sampling practices.

      Environmental Professionals Organization of Connecticut, Inc.
      P.O. Box 176, Amston, CT 06231-0176
      Seth Molofsky, Executive Director
      Phone: (860) 537-0337, Fax: (860) 603-2075

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