2012 NGWA Ground Water Summit: Innovate and Integrate

Lessons Learned from a Suite of CFB Borden Experiments

Monday, May 7, 2012: 2:10 p.m.
Terrace Room A-C (Hyatt Regency Orange County)
Edward A. Sudicky, University of Waterloo;
Walter A. Illman, University of Waterloo;

This article summarizes several of many field-based studies of subsurface contaminant transport conducted over the last 30 years at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden site. The field research initially consisted of extensive monitoring of a leachate plume from an abandoned landfill and its analytical and numerical modeling. Lessons learned from these initial studies led to the execution and interpretation of a variety of tracer tests involving conservative and reactive/organic solutes tests performed at various scales. The lessons learned from these tracer tests revealed a number of deficiencies in classical theories of contaminant dispersion and reaction processes as they occur in groundwater, and thus spawned a new era of process-oriented research within the hydrogeological community. The extensively monitored tracer tests were followed by controlled spills of organic contaminants to observe their subsurface movement and distribution as well as the emplacement of a variety of contaminant sources in the saturated and unsaturated zones to study the ambient transport of contaminants. The controlled spills and emplaced sources of various contaminants were then utilized for testing various active and passive remediation technologies. These studies have led to fundamental insights and lessons learned that have significantly contributed to research on contaminant transport in both the saturated and unsaturated zones. Over the years, data generated by the University of Waterloo (UW) researchers and their collaborators continues to be examined by various research groups and has led to additional new insights on subsurface transport of various chemicals.