As consulting hydrogeologists since 1989, Emery and Garrett Groundwater Investigations has recently reached the milestone of developing 100,000,000 gallons per day of new, previously untapped groundwater resources for numerous private and public clients throughout the eastern seaboard of the United States. A few of the over a thousand exciting and successful projects that EGGI has been completed are here:
Innovative Projects Leading to Sustainable Water Supply Solutions and Other Interesting Investigations
Jeff Marts and Dan Tinkham recently presented a Poster Session at the 2013 Northeastern Section Meeting of the Geological Society of America (NEGSA), held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. EGGI has been actively involved in several groundwater quality studies in New Hampshire regarding the impacts of applying sodium chloride as a deicing agent within the contributing recharge areas to Municipal Production Wells. The title and abstract of the presentation was as follows:
A Mass Balance Approach to Evaluating Salt Loading of a Stratified Drift Aquifer
Merrimack, New Hampshire
The Merrimack Village District (MVD) obtains drinking water from two Water Supply Production Wells sited in the highly transmissive stratified drift deposits that comprise the Naticook Brook Aquifer in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Sodium chloride levels in these Production Wells have been increasing steadily over the past several years in this urban watershed, prompting concern for the future water quality of the entire aquifer. A mass balance approach was used to evaluate salt loading impacts to the aquifer, and as a tool to help manage and/or mitigate future impacts. Over 500 tons of salt are applied in the wellhead protection area (WHPA) annually. Though most of that salt is removed from the aquifer each year via Production Well withdrawals and surface water leaving the WHPA, approximately 18 tons of salt remain in storage, contributing to the further salinization of the groundwater. Efforts now will be focused on eliminating more than 18 tons of sodium chloride from annual applications to improve the overall groundwater quality.
Dan Tinkham, PG, and John Brooks, PhD., PG, have been invited to make presentations at the New Hampshire Geological Survey’s Annual Geologic Mapping Workshop on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The presentations will summarize work efforts related to surficial mapping of the Ashland and Center Harbor, 7.5-minute quadrangles during the 2012 mapping season. EGGI was retained by the NHGS to perform the mapping as part of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program.
Dan Tinkham’s talk is titled “Projection of Glacial Lake Franklin into the Ashland Quadrangle” and will discuss the evidence for the former Glacial Lake Franklin projecting northwards into the Ashland Quadrangle. Glacial Lake Franklin was first postulated during mapping of the Bristol Quadrangle in 2009. Recent mapping of the Ashland Quadrangle has re-affirmed the presence of Glacial Lake Franklin and other higher temporary lake levels in the Pemigewasset River Valley.
John Brooks will be discussing the deglaciation of the Center Harbor quadrangle in his talk “Proto-Winnipesaukee and Squam: Deglaciation of the Winnipesaukee Basin.” In general, a sediment-starved glacier left behind few remnants in the shadow of the Squam Range, but surficial mapping in the Center Harbor Quadrangle has revealed a likely connection between Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake that was controlled by a spillway at Weirs Beach.
For more information on the NHDES Mapper’s Workshop, please contact the NH Geological Survey at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 271-1976.
Dan Tinkam and John Brooks, Ph.D. will be leading this year’s Geological Society of New Hampshire’s (GSNH’s) summer field trip on June 22nd! This Field Trip will take place along the eastern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton, Gilford, and Laconia. Bedrock geology of the Mesozoic Belknap Intrusive/Volcanic Complex and the geology of sediments deposited in Glacial Lake New Durham and paleo Lake Winnipesaukee will be highlighted during the Field Trip.
A number of the Field Trip stops will present insights gained through the surficial mapping that Emery & Garrett Groundwater, Inc. (EGGI) has completed for the New Hampshire Geological Survey as part of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. This work has resulted in the creation of 11 surficial geologic maps of the Lakes Region and beyond. EGGI’s ongoing mapping of the 7.5 minute Plymouth Quadrangle will continue the northward delineation of the Glacial Lake Franklin deposits that EGGI also identified within the Ashland and Bristol Quadrangles.
Information about the availability of New Hampshire Surficial Geologic Maps can be obtained at the following website: http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/publications/geologic/
Please join us for the GSNH Summer Field Trip….and be sure to bring your swim suits to take full advantage of the gathering location on Lake Winnipesaukee at Ellacoya State Park Beach! Additional information about the GSNH Summer Field Trip can be obtained at www.GSNH.org.
- (from left to right): James Emery (President of Emery & Garrett Groundwater, Inc.), Cathy Libertz (EPA Region 3 Deputy Director, Water Protection Division), Oscar Beasley (ACSA Deputy Executive Director), Amy Owens (Virginia DEQ Regional Director), Harvey Hamilton (ACSA Utility Coordinator), Jennifer Hoover (ACSA Senior Engineer), Pat Conroy (ACSA Water Superintendent), Ken Fanfoni (ACSA Executive Director).
Emery & Garrett Groundwater, Inc. (EGGI) was instrumental in delineating Source Water Protection Areas around several of the key groundwater supply sources utilized by the Augusta County Service Authority (ACSA) in Augusta County, Virginia. The ACSA was awarded Source Water Protection Grants through the USEPA and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and retained EGGI to delineate Wellhead Protection Areas (WHPAs) around their highest yielding production wells and Dices Spring, a unique and very important high yielding water source. Groundwater supply protection programs have now been completed in Stuarts Draft, Lyndhurst, Churchville, and Dices Spring.
In addition, EGGI wrote a Groundwater Protection Ordinance that was recently voted in by the Augusta County Board of Supervisors in 2011. As a result of these collective efforts, the USEPA selected ACSA to receive the highest and most prestigious 2011 EPA Source Water Protection Award for the entirety of the EPA Region 3 District. We congratulate ACSA on their outstanding efforts towards groundwater protection and look forward to our continued collaboration.
EGGI has provided groundwater consulting services to the ACSA for more than 20+ years. This has included exploring and developing new groundwater sources and protecting existing groundwater supplies throughout Augusta County (including areas underlain by rocks of the Shenandoah Valley, Blue Ridge, and Allegheny Mountains).
NEWS RELEASE HERE - http://www.newsroomamerica.com/story/201055.html
EPA News Release (Region 3): Augusta County Twice Honored by EPA For Protecting Waters
By Newsroom America Feeds at 2:29 pm Eastern
Contact: David Sternberg (215) 814-5548 email@example.com
*Augusta County Twice Honored by EPA For Protecting Waters *
*(PHILADELPHIA – December 15, 2011)* – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded two prestigious awards to the Augusta County Service Authority, in Augusta County, Va.; the Source Water Protection Award for protecting existing and potential drinking water sources and the PISCES award recognizing leadership and innovation in utilizing clean water infrastructure funds.
“Drinking water is a finite and precious resource, and we commend Augusta County’s leadership in protecting it,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Other municipalities would be well-served to follow their example in adopting source water protection ordinances.”
The Augusta County Service Authority coordinated the development of one of the strongest source water protection zoning ordinances in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The ordinance, passed in February 2011, helps to protect ground water sources of drinking water from adverse impacts such as contamination from hazardous materials or petroleum products, or loss of water in underground aquifers which supply drinking water in the County.
“We’ve invested a lot of resources in establishing our drinking water supply,” said Augusta County Service Authority Executive Director Ken Fanfoni. “The ordinance will help to prevent it being jeopardized by careless actions or unforeseen events.”
The Source Water Protection Award recognizes organizations and communities that take steps to protect drinking water sources in EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. For more information on source water protection, visit: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/drinkingwater/swp/
EPA also presented the 2010 PISCES Award to the Authority. The PISCES award stands for
Performance and Innovation in the State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success.
The Augusta County Service Authority is recognized for performance and innovation in utilizing Clean Water infrastructure funds. The PISCES award highlights projects that successfully further the goal of clean and safe water with exceptional planning, management, and financing.
The Augusta County Service Authority is making use of Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loans to fund projects that reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus discharged to tributaries of the Potomac, Shenandoah and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. Projects were initiated at several wastewater treatment plants to enhance nutrient removal and increase energy efficiency. These projects will increase the sustainability and effectiveness of the wastewater treatment process protecting local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
Emery & Garrett Groundwater, Inc. recently presented a landmark groundwater discovery at the Southeastern Section meeting of the Geological Society of America held in Asheville, North Carolina on April 1, 2012. The presentation entitled, “The Impacts of the Earthquake that Struck Near Mineral, Virginia on Groundwater Resources in Northern Virginia” focused on the observed sudden rise of groundwater levels within a well established “cone of depression” surrounding a public water supply Production Well in northern Virginia. The groundwater level within the cone of depression rose more than 20 feet. This rapid rise in groundwater levels happened as a direct result of the August 23, 2011 earthquake in Mineral, Virginia at a time when no other groundwater recharge events to the bedrock aquifer were occurring.
Additionally, as a direct result of the earthquake, one of the primary Production Wells at the site sustained adverse changes to the quality of water it produced. Since the earthquake, this community’s Primary Production Well has been contaminated with Coliform and E.coli bacteria. As a result, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has determined that the well has changed from its status as a groundwater source and has now classified it as being “Groundwater Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water” (GUDI), even though the well had produced bacteria-free water for more than 15 years.
A borehole video log of the contaminated Production Well has determined that new shallow water-bearing fractures were formed (or opened up) during the earthquake event. It has also been suspected that the sanitary cement grout seal of the production well sustained damage during the earthquake. The Community has since had to use a “back-up” emergency well. Although this emergency back-up well had been drilled and built within the same bedrock aquifer and in accordance to the same well construction standards, it continues to pump bacteria-free water. The community is now considering its mitigation options.
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There has been much recent discussion about the potential contamination of groundwater associated with the hydrofracturing of the Marcellus Shale for gas resources. It is interesting to note that some of these concerns are about the potential for a somewhat indirect contamination of surface water and shallow groundwater resources associated with the “return” water from the hydrofracturing operations.
According to a recent article on the Environmental Protection website (see link below), 10% to 40% (300k to 3 million) of the three to eight million gallons of water/chemical mixture used for hydrofracturing each gas well drilled within the Marcellus Shale eventually returns to the surface…..along with connate water enriched in barium/strontium and other naturally occurring elements. The manmade and natural contaminants in this “return” water pose a potential threat to surface water and groundwater if not property treated.