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Tracking Diffuse TCE Plumes with Low-Level MIP - Webinar Available

Posted by John Sohl on Aug 16, 2017 3:17:20 PM

 Mature groundwater plumes for environmental contaminants pose a complex challenge with regards to accurate delineation of sources, vertical and lateral extent, dominant pathways, and likely storage zones for residual contaminants.  It is not uncommon for plumes from multiple sources to commingle and diffuse across a relatively large distance and a varied hydrogeological spatial volume. As a result, uncertainty in the accuracy of the conceptual site model (CSM) increases, and in turn the associated risk assessment, and the costs contemplated for cleanup alternatives.  Better data resolution and scale are required to reduce these uncertainties.  Low-Level Membrane Interface Probe Technology with Hydraulic Profiling (HPT) provides one approach for obtaining cost-effective and reliable high-resolution data, at a more informative scale in order to improves CSMs and enable better decision-making.

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Tags: Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), News, SmartData Solutions®, TCE, VOC

The 7 Biggest Myths of Direct Sensing (Part II)

Posted by admin on Oct 3, 2012 1:07:12 PM

We hope you enjoyed our last blog post, The 7 Myths of Direct Sensing (Part I) outlining the three basic assumptions or principles we have in mind when deploying high resolution direct sensing tools, defining high resolution and direct sensing tools, and disclosing the first three myths related to site characterization projects.

Below are four additional myths related to detection levels, remediation programs, cost of direct sensing, and the need for real time data with the corresponding truths.

Myth 4: The detection levels of direct sensing tools like the Membrane Interface Probe (MIP) are not low enough

If you’re going off the basis that the contaminant levels at your site are too low for direct sensing tools, you’re probably should ask yourself do I really only have 10 ppb and if so, why do I still have 10 ppb? Direct sensing tools for contaminant profiling are first and foremost source area characterization tools.

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Tags: Direct Sensing, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), Membrane Interface Probe-Hydraulic Profiling Tool, Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), News, Site Characterization

Five Steps to Developing Weighted Lines of Evidence During Site Characterization

Posted by John Sohl on May 30, 2012 12:39:43 PM

One of the most critical points to remember when developing a site closure work plan is that it simply costs too much to assess, remediate, and make decisions on information that is incomplete, inaccurate, and too late. Traditional approaches to characterizing subsurface conditions by drilling, soil sampling, and monitoring wells screened over large intervals are too incomplete to accurately deal with site heteregoneity.

Therefore, a high resolution site characterization approach is a more attractive option as it enables projects to move forward with remediation focused activities such as corrective action, free product recovery efforts, and site closure.

Let’s face it, the heterogeneity geology of a site is going to impact the migration of subsurface contamination opposed to the age old myth that it always follows the direction of groundwater. Introduction of the Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT) for site investigation and remediation efforts supports contaminant mapping activities to provide a greater understanding of subsurface conditions. By measuring direct pressure response, HPT develops weighted lines of evidence indicating the tight (or loose) grains and low (or high) flow zones in order to determine the migration pathways, remediation injection regions, and placements for monitoring wells. With an integrated Soil Electrical Conductivity (EC) array this tool also defines zones of lower conductivity which allows for the movement of contaminants into the subsurface.

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Tags: Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), LNAPL, Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), News, Site Characterization

COLUMBIA Technologies Supports Direct Sensing Project in Mexico City

Posted by John Sohl on Sep 12, 2011 11:45:02 PM

     COLUMBIA Technologies is currently supporting our first direct sensing project in Mexico City. COLUMBIA’s direct sensing team landed in Mexico City in August to make a difference in the environmental industry on a global level and prove that real-time information can drive a project to satisfy regulatory requirements for investigation of contaminated sites.

Following the proven concept of stakeholder and regulatory involvement, systematic work planning, and dynamic work execution, these site investigations focused on providing a better understanding of how the results would impact the overall remediation scope and property disposition.

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, Direct Sensing, John Sohl, News, Mexico, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), Membrane Interface Probe (MIP)

How Comprehensive Site Assessments and Better Data with Integrated Technologies Makes a Difference

Posted by John Sohl on Aug 24, 2011 11:31:44 PM

 Would a comprehensive site assessment and better data with multiple technology integration make a difference in your overall scope? Before you answer that question, think about whether or not having better, more accurate, and real-time information would motivate you to change your investigation technique on your next project. Are you actually interested in having data that accurately depicts the plume, delineates your source area, and multiple lines of evidence on your subsurface contamination? Or, would you rather “drill blind” and continue to sample areas where you think there may be contamination and install monitoring wells at the wrong depth and location incurring additional costs and time?

If having better data would actually change the way you would execute your project, design a remediation plan, or install monitoring wells, please read on. If you disagree, you may also continue to read, but the thoughts below may conflict with your perspective. Just saying, we warned you.

Data which is collected with advanced direct sensing tools (such as the Membrane Interface Probe (MIP)Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF), or Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT)) provide a greater level of detail for characterizing the local site geology, a more in depth understanding of the hydrology, and deeper insight into the contaminant chemistry of your site. Wouldn’t all of this allow you to make more informed decisions?

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Tags: Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), SmartData Solutions®, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), MIP

COLUMBIA Technologies Rides Demand For High-Resolution Sub-Surface Characterization

Posted by admin on Apr 28, 2011 10:51:54 AM

Article originally featured in the Environmental Business Journal (EBJ) Remediation & Redevelopment Issue, Volume XXIV, Number 3/4, 2011

 Throughout much of the approximately three-decade-old history of waste site cleanup, sub-surface site characterization has been something of a high-stakes gamble. You could install monitoring wells into the soil and groundwater, spending thousands of dollars per well while essentially guessing how best to develop a picture of where contamination has spread or where a groundwater plume is headed—and you could be wrong, prompting a costly revisiting of the site and possibly even lawsuits.

More recent history has seen the advent of high-resolution techniques that that have reduced the cost and improved the accuracy of sub-surface characterization. One company that has put those techniques to work at approximately 750 sites throughout its 10-year history is Columbia Technologies (Baltimore, MD), a provider of high-resolution direct sensing and mapping technologies such as the membrane interface probe (MIP), laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), the hydraulic profiling tool (HPT), a discrete groundwater profiler with on-site volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis, and associated data management tools for real-time information processing and visualization.

COLUMBIA Technologies CEO John Sohl looks back on the company’s experience at those 750 sites and sees three principles in play when it engages clients in today’s marketplace. First, “they want to define the issue, and not just produce data for data’s sake, and to keep regulators off their backs,” he says. Second, clients understand that better information leads to better decisions on cleanup and response. Third, “they’re saying, ‘I’d rather have an abundance of fairly close information and be approximately correct than be precisely wrong.’”

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), John Sohl, Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), News