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Characterization is Key

June 2nd, 2016

One of the most common reasons for environmental remediation project failures is because the initial dataset used for the design is inaccurate or incomplete.

For example, a pocket of free product or high sorbed phase that was missed in the initial characterization can easily lead to recontamination of your groundwater.

Traditional characterization methods of developing monitoring wells or taking soil cores can be limited in terms of resolution. Plume size and direction are inferred from a relatively small set of data points so it is common for contamination to get missed.

The issue is that characterization comes with a cost. Clients often decide to save money on characterization in order to spend more on actual remediation. However, by spending more money on characterization, it is possible to save money on remediation by allowing for more effective targeting of the contamination,  increasing the understanding of the contamination present, and reducing the probability of having to remobilize to the site to clean something that was initially missed.

Additionally, there are a number of new characterization tools that are allowing for more cost-effective, and higher resolution delineation of contaminated sites. These include the hydraulic profiling tool, membrane interface probe, and laser induced fluorescence. All these tools can offer real time data and help to narrow down the areas that may require further investigation using traditional tools.

Both CCC and its suppliers have technical experts on hand who are more than happy to assist you with remedial strategy but, at the end of the day, the better the incoming information, the better the outgoing design, and the higher chance you have at success.