Groundwater Risk Assessment

Land contamination may present a significant risk to groundwater situated beneath any site. A quantitative Groundwater Risk Assessment (QRA) is therefore often recommended following chemical analysis of soil or groundwater retained during a Phase 2 Geoenvironmental Assessment; and is commonly integral to Environmental Planning Conditions. Undertaking a QRA assesses whether remedial action is required to clean-up soil and/or groundwater at any site.

The Environment Agency (EA) has specific duties and powers to protect, monitor and enforce remediation of contaminated groundwater as set out within several legislative documents including the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The EA therefore provides specific guidance and methodologies for the assessment of groundwater with the aim to protect groundwater from pollution by controlling discharges and disposals of certain dangerous substances.

At Bold Environmental, our approach to groundwater risk assessment adheres to required legislation, and incorporates the hydrogeological and hydrological setting of the site. Use of theSource – Pathway – Receptor” approach is the basis of our risk based methodology and is used to provide an initial qualitative assessment of contaminant risk.  Site specific groundwater data (or leached soil data) is then utilised to provide a Groundwater Risk Assessment benchmarked against current Water Quality Standards using either of the following EA recommended computer modelling tools:

  • Remedial Targets Methodology (2006) 
  • ConSim (version 2.5)

How do the models differ?

The decision on the most appropriate technique will rest with the availability of data, risk prioritization, and time constraints relevant to the project or planning scenario.

The results of the model simulation can determine whether Remedial Action is necessary.

The BOLD approach is to listen to your situation, advise on the merits of techniques available; and with your agreement ratify our approach and model input parameters with the regulator before work commences.

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