Kansas State University Students Visit Seneca Contamination Site

Earlier this year KDHE contracted with GSI Engineering to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the contamination attributed to the former Frank’s Wash and Dry Cleaners in Seneca.  We prepared a plan of action, deciding to use direct push technology to collect groundwater samples and hydrogeologic information.

Seeing this as a perfect opportunity to get local university students involved, KDHE and GSI Engineering hosted a geology class from Kansas State University, led by Dr. Saugata Datta, on April 10, 2017. KDHE and GSI staff members Kelsee Wheeler and Rick Bean were able to demonstrate the technology being used, discussed various aspects of the project with the students, and explained the methods being used to collect data.

Professor Saugata Datta’s students were provided the opportunity to observe an actual field use of the GeoProbe™ Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT) operated by GSI employees Ian Smith and Mason Schell.  This demonstration allowed the students to get a better understanding of real-time logging using the HPT and electrical conductivity tools and then see how field professionals interpret the data to direct investigation activities.  They also got to observe the collection of groundwater samples using direct push equipment.

Field Technology Demonstrations

kansas state hpt demonstration
Kansas State University Geology students observe real-time collection of in situ permeability data using the Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT).  As the tool is advanced, the HPT measures the pressure required to inject water into the subsurface.  The injection pressure is an indicator of the formation permeability; which affects the fate and transport of contamination in the aquifer.  Interpretation of the formation permeability from the HPT logs allows field professionals to correlate the lithology across a site based on the soil permeability and identify zones to be targeted for sample collection.
The GeoProbe™ direct-push track unit allows GSI to access areas for sample collection with minimal impact to the site.  The track system minimizes ground pressure by spreading equipment weight of larger areas; which reduces damage to lawns and landscaping.
geoprobe direct push demonstration
groundwater collection demonstration
KSU Geology students observe the collection of groundwater samples using direct-push equipment from an area adjacent to a stream and riparian zone.  The direct-push rig advances hollow rods equipped with a retractable screened rod attached to the lead rod.  The rods are advanced to the desired depth where the screen is exposed, allowing groundwater to enter the rods.  New polyethylene tubing is inserted into the rods to collect the groundwater sample for laboratory analysis.

GSI Plans Future Work with KSU Students

One of GSI’s on-going missions is community involvement, and we loved getting to work with the students to demonstrate equipment that they will be using in their future careers. It is our plan to partner with KDHE again early next year and collaborate with Kansas State University students to further provide an amazing mentorship and field-training opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *