Integrated modelling for assessing the risk of groundwater contaminants to human health and surface water ecosystems

Ursula S. McKnight, Jes Rasmussen, Simon G. Funder, Michael Finkel, Philip John Binning

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Abstract

The practical implementation of the European Water Framework Directive has resulted in an increased focus on the groundwater-surface water interaction zone. A gap exists with respect to preliminary assessment methodologies that are capable of evaluating and prioritising point sources of contamination. In particular, adaptive management tools designed to work with sparse data sets from preliminary site assessments are needed which can explicitly link contaminant point sources with groundwater, surface water and ecological impacts. Here, a novel integrated modelling approach was employed for evaluating the impact of a TCE groundwater plume, located in an area with protected drinking water interests, to human health and surface water ecosystems. This is accomplished by coupling the system dynamicsbased decision support system CARO-Plus to the aquatic ecosystem model AQUATOX via an analytical volatilisation model for the stream. The model is tested on a Danish case study involving a 750 m long TCE groundwater plume discharging into a stream. The initial modelling results indicate that TCE contaminant plumes with μgL-1 concentrations entering surface water systems do not pose a significant risk to either human or ecological receptors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Groundwater Quality Conference
Number of pages4
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventGroundwater Quality Management in a Rapidly Changing World : 7th International Groundwater Quality Conference - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 13 Jun 201018 Jun 2010
Conference number: 7
http://www.eawag.ch/medien/veranstaltungen/events/gq2010/index_EN

Conference

ConferenceGroundwater Quality Management in a Rapidly Changing World : 7th International Groundwater Quality Conference
Number7
CountrySwitzerland
CityZurich
Period13/06/201018/06/2010
Internet address

Keywords

  • Uncertainty
  • Integrated modelling
  • Groundwater-surface water interfaces
  • System dynamics
  • Contaminated sites

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