Our hydrogeologists have excellent experience in the entire spectrum of groundwater monitoring at brownfield sites; which can be broken into two main categories: groundwater level monitoring and groundwater quality monitoring.
Groundwater Level Monitoring
Primary Groundwater Monitoring
In primary groundwater monitoring, the focus is to analyze trends in groundwater water levels due to land-use and climatic changes and also to changes in recharges, flows and diffuse contamination.
Secondary Groundwater Monitoring
In secondary groundwater monitoring, MEK focuses on the protection of groundwater resources, wellfields, land subsidence and the protection of groundwater–depended ecosystems against potential environmental impacts.
Tertiary Groundwater Monitoring
For tertiary groundwater monitoring MEK is concerned with providing early warning of adverse environmental impacts on groundwater resources that can arise from intensive agricultural land use, industrial and mining activities and disposal of waste (landfill).
Continuous groundwater level monitoring is required to ensure reliable supply and also protect quality. In developing an effective groundwater monitoring network, the MEK team will carefully analyze and evaluate the geological, hydrogeological, and land and water use settings carefully before selecting the location of monitoring wells. Furthermore, we will carefully consider trends in land and water uses in residential, industrial, agricultural and environmental settings and incorporate our findings into the final monitoring program designs.
Groundwater Quality Monitoring
Because water is a good solvent, it can easily become contaminated due to dissolution of one or of several contaminants. Groundwater contamination is usually due to one of the following:
- Contamination from naturally occurring chemicals in soil and rock formation e.g., dissolution of naturally occurring toxic arsenic and selenium in rocks;
- Contamination as a result of agricultural, commercial and industrial activities; and
- Leakage from Underground Storage Tanks into the soil and groundwater systems.
MEK has a full-fledged groundwater sampling protocol tailored in line with the World Health Organization and Canadian Environmental Protection Agency protocols. The protocol contains quality control/quality assurance (QA/QC) measures to ensure that water samples from the field submitted to the laboratory are representative of the sampled groundwater. This implies that groundwater samples are stored in the appropriate containers together with other QA/QC samples under approved temperature conditions and submitted in a timely manner to an accredited laboratory for analysis.
Upon receipt of the laboratory analytical results, MEK staff will perform an in-house due diligence by analyzing laboratory analytical results to affirm their accuracy and precision.
From the laboratory results MEK is able to determine spatial variation in groundwater quality over the monitored area. Long-term spatial variations in water quality are determined from multi-temporal groundwater quality data. This latter analysis will also enable our staff to affirm the encroachment or mobility of pollutants into the aquifer of interest.