Soil & Groundwater Protection

Groundwater Protection

We can look back on more than 25 years of experience in groundwater protection and groundwater development. Due to our practical experience as well as the close cooperation with authorities and research partners we are familiar with all current methods and techniques but also apply recently developed sampling and measurement techniques.

Exploration

Together with our clients and authorities the exploration measures are planned and partially carried out with our industrial and research partners.

  • Planning and construction of groundwater wells pursuant to DVGW work sheet W 115 and W 121
  • Planning, execution and interpretation of pumping tests pursuant to DVGW work sheet W 111
  • Insertion of data loggers for continuous measurements and recordings of groundwater levels and “in situ parameters”
  • Planning and interpretation of geophysical field and drilling measurements pursuant to DVGW bulletin W 110
  • Planning, execution and interpretation of tracer tests
  • Use of cost-effective alternative methods or newly developed methods to detect groundwater contaminations, e.g. direct-push-methods, PDBS (Passive Diffusion Bag Sampler), Measurement of vertical GW flow (like Heat pulse logging tool), mini pressure pump

Risk assessment

Our risk assessments for groundwater contaminations prior to a groundwater decontamination serves our clients and the authorities as a basis for decisions.

  • Evaluation of current and future impairments or risk-exposure of single groundwater bodies
  • Risk assessment for drinking and industrial water reservoirs
  • Risk assessment for surface waters

For the interpretation a special database/GIS system is available. Furthermore, we use all current calculation and interpolation tools for the generation of:

  • Groundwater contour diagrams
  • Groundwater flow diagrams
  • Depth to groundwater table plans

In case of more complex projects the risk assessments also involves a prognosis calculation with numeric flow and transport models.

Restoration planning

Restoration plans are generated for the remediation option with the best cost-benefit ratio. These plans form the legal basis for groundwater decontamination measures. All facilities needed for the construction of a remediation plant

  • Groundwater abstraction and infiltration facilities
  • Pipeline routes
  • Civil engineering structures
  • Treatment plants

are planned according to the HOAI service phases.

We assist our clients in the tendering process and manage all water-legislative processes.

Declaration of protected areas

We provide advice on the development and management of groundwater abstraction sites for companies working in the drinking water supply sector:

  • Identification of the catchment areas and groundwater resources
  • Localization of well positions
  • Sizing of required protection areas and licensing applications
  • Generation of groundwater models

Site management

Usually, the support and attendance of specialist engineers is required when constructing remediation plants. We have specially trained employees for the supervision of remediation measures and well drilling activities.

Furthermore, our experienced engineers can assist you with the supervision of services according to VOL/VOB.

Hydrogeology

Groundwater is highly sensitive: treating it negligently thus quickly leads to negative effects due to contamination. This may have serious consequences for the environment, for consumers, and for the local economy. Hydrogeology deals with the protection of the groundwater and the improvement of its quality. Our experts in this area apply all their know-how to support you in projects dealing, for instance, with groundwater exploitation, management, and treatment.

Through careful exploration and planning we provide the basis on which you can make decisions that are ecologically correct and economically sound. We support and advise our customers in a variety of hydrogeological tasks:

  • Hydrogeological site explorations
  • Consulting and planning for construction projects with hydrogeological relevance
  • Development of water supply concepts, feasibility calculations
  • Balancing of water availability and extraction possibilities
  • Concepts for drining water and service water
  • Concept development as well as exploration and remediation of groundwater
  • Risk assessments and risk appraisals
  • Designation of water protection zones
  • Evaluation of water qualities, treatment concepts
  • Numerical flow and contaminant modeling
  • Hydrogeological data management systems, GIS

Model Technology in Hydrogeology

Hydrogeological appraisals are an integral part of nearly all our working areas.

Often, environmental technology studies and building site explorations are necessary due to the prior usage of a site or area. In the context of building projects, hydrogeological aspects frequently also become relevant, e.g., if the groundwater has to be pumped out during construction. In the context of such tasks, we develop hydrogeological models that map the characteristics of the subsurface and allow the calculations or the dimensioning of dewatering measures.

Different alternatives (drawdown by means of pumping, bored pile walls, waterproofing of the base slab, etc.) are thus compared and discussed with the customers. We can also use conceptual hydrogeological models to check what the impacts will be on neighboring sites, such as settlements due to the drawdown of the water table or the impact of existing contaminant plumes. Planning for implementation is often supported by groundwater models (steady state/transient, Modflow, FeFlow). This can shorten construction times, minimize the impacts of the project, and reduce costs.

Development of Groundwater Resources

Hydrogeological studies are performed by our experienced geologists and engineers in the context of the development of groundwater resources.

When developing water supply concepts for cities and municipalities, you first determine the extractable groundwater yield. Subsequently the water demand is assessed in coordination with the customers. Issues related to approval regulations are also discussed at this stage. Besides assessing the ecological impacts of the groundwater extraction, our experts also perform economic feasibility calculations. It frequently happens during the course of such projects that we also develop and maintain database and GIS-supported ground water management systems.

As part of regional groundwater balancing, we perform hydraulic measurements and tests in the groundwater body. Water level and flow data are also collected via remote data transmission. The evaluation serves, among other things, to identify the properties of the different aquifers.

In addition to geoscientific mappings and the assessment of dry weather runoff measurements, hydrogeological models and groundwater balances also serve as a basis for water collection facilities. We often define well catchment areas and designate water protection zones with the help of transient 3D groundwater models.

We do not only provide consulting with regard to hydrogeological issues, but also support you in exploiting drinking water and service water resources and in dealing with the associated water rights processes. Besides assessing water protection zones, the water protection zones are often redefined in this context, and we submit applications on your behalf in accordance with the applicable guidelines and administrative regulations.