Working to Quantify and Overcome Uncertainty

solinst 2011 solinst symposium enhance monitoring and remedial methods for contaminated groundwater groundwater monitoring groundwater remediation contaminated groundwater image

 The theme of this year’s Symposium was “Enhanced Monitoring and Remedial Methods for Contaminated Groundwater”. It became clear that enhancing monitoring and remedial approaches involves recognizing “uncertainty” as a factor in all contaminated site assessments.

It was put forth that heterogeneity in the subsurface affects the level of uncertainty in any groundwater study – when determining flow velocities, understanding how contaminants move, calculating mass discharge, determining flux, knowing how an amendment will behave, or assessing remedial performance.

Each of the speakers acknowledged uncertainty as a limitation, but their work and research is aiming to overcome this. They provided examples, through tools they have developed or studies they have completed, which help to lessen uncertainty. Tools that capture smaller scale variances and high-resolution data provide characterizations that are more accurate, and including uncertainty estimates in study results and remedial performance assessments provides outcomes that are more realistic.

For more highlights from the Symposium, visit: http://www.solinst.com/Symposium/