Clear Creek Associates’ Mr. Wayne Feller led a successful 4-year campaign to close the longstanding Former Papago Auto Service Facility LUST site in Phoenix, Arizona, using the alternative groundwater LUST closure requirements in Arizona Administrative Code (AAC) R18-12-263.04. The rule allows the ADEQ to approve LUST case closure where there is an exceedance of an aquifer water quality standard (AWQS) without requiring a deed restriction for the property. Benzene and methyl-t-butyl-ether (MTBE) were the two remaining residual gasoline-related compounds that exceeded cleanup levels in groundwater, but were demonstrated to be stable and attenuating in compliance with the rule.
Our client, NXP USA, Inc. (NXP, formerly Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. and Motorola, Inc.) conducted corrective actions as a cleanup volunteer and designated representative for the former LUST site that was acquired through a land purchase in 1995. After closure was received in June 2019, Mr. Feller coordinated with the current property owner to abandon the monitoring wells and restore the site.
Client comment from NXP:
“Congratulations to you and everyone at Clear Creek on closure of this site! You did a great job and had it not been for all of your guidance/hard work it would still be on-going and open!”
Marvin Glotfelty gave the following lectures:
* Presentation at the Mountain States Groundwater Expo (www.mountainstatesgroundwater.com) in Laughlin, NV on February 8, 2018
* Two workshops at the NGWA Pacific Northwest Groundwater Expo (www.pnwgwa.org) in Portland, OR on March 16, 2018
Marvin Glotfelty authored an article for the November 2017 edition of Water Well Journal discussing water well preparedness. The article, Key Considerations for Water Well Resilience, can be found at the link.
Geno Mammini presented ASR Well Installation- Siting/Feasibility/Design/Installation at the Tri-State Seminar in Las Vegas, NV in September 2017. This presentation focused on the installation of a new aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) well for the City of Peoria’s Butler Drive Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). The presentation detailed the well siting study, initial modeling simulations and permitting scenarios, exploratory feasibility study activities and results, well design modifications, well installation/testing procedures and results, and equipping recommendations. Geno has been involved with the Tri-State Seminar since 2008 and has been the Chair of the Groundwater/Recharge Section since 2013. This was his 5th presentation at the seminar.
Marvin Glotfelty presented Industrial-Use Well Installation Using the Dual Rotary Pull-Back Technique at the Tri-State Seminar in Las Vegas, NV in September 2017. Following is an abstract of the presentation: The City of Phoenix and the Sub-Regional Operating Group (SROG) operate production wells at the Unified Plant portion of the City of Phoenix 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to facilitate groundwater dewatering beneath the secondary sedimentation basins for maintenance purposes, and to provide an industrial-use water supply for the solids handling facility. The existing wells at this site had declining water production and casing corrosion problems resulting from the aggressive groundwater in the area, so four additional wells were installed to meet the facility needs. To account for the very coarse and permeable cobbles, gravel, and sand strata at this location, the dual rotary drilling method was used for installation of the new wells. This presentation described the design considerations and installation challenges of the well construction, which were successfully addressed using the “pull-back” method of filter pack installation. The groundwater production rates from the new wells range from 1,100 gpm to over 3,000 gpm, which enabled the WWTP operators to dewater the secondary sedimentation basins for maintenance, and augment the industrial-use water supply.
Clear Creek has played a significant role in the permitting of Excelsior Mining Corporation’s Gunnison project, a proposed in-situ copper mine in Cochise County, Arizona. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality recently provided Excelsior with a Grant Letter for its Gunnison Copper Project’s Aquifer Protection Permit (“APP”). This is a significant milestone for the project. Clear Creek’s role included groundwater modeling, preparation of the permit application, and permit negotiation.Friday, September 8, Ryan Mitchell will be presenting “Casing Inspection Thickness Measurement (CITM) Logging Explanation and Case Studies” at the 30th Annual Arizona Hydrological Society’s symposium.
“The Remote Eddy log uses electromagnetic waves to measure the wall thickness in ferrous steel materials such as low-carbon steel (LCS) or high strength low alloy (HSLA) steel, which are commonly used as well casing.
The “Remote Eddy Current” technique has been well established in the oil and gas industry to monitor the integrity of well casings. The Remote Eddy logging tool generates a low-frequency alternating magnetic field that is able to penetrate a metallic steel casing. The magnetic field is attenuated and phase-shifted due to eddy currents (thus the name), and the resulting magnetic field is measured at a location approximately four feet away, along the axis of the logging tool. The magnitude of phase-shift is related to the metal thickness and steel type.
Clear Creek Associates has successfully used CITM logs to evaluate the condition of old, heavily scaled, wells. Some of these evaluations have led to surprising results. We will explain the CITM logging method and share some of our experiences with this method.”
More info regarding the symposium can be found here.
Clear Creek Associates, a hydrogeology consulting firm based in Arizona, is excited to announce that it is joining the firm Geo-Logic Associates (GLA), a multi-disciplinary geology, hydrogeology, and engineering consulting firm based in Ontario, California. Clear Creek’s well-known expertise in water resources, hydrogeologic investigations, mining hydrogeology, environmental investigation and remediation, and groundwater modeling closely align with the skills and expertise of GLA. GLA has more than 20 offices in 7 states and an office in Lima, Peru and will have 250 staff with the addition of Clear Creek. Clear Creek will remain intact (wholly owned by GLA) under its current management team. Both firms look forward to collaborative efforts that will meet the needs of our clients in industry, municipalities, and utilities.
Clear Creek Associates was recently featured for its involvement in the Bonita Creek water supply system project—a project that was achieved through a partnership between the City of Safford, Arizona, Freeport-McMoRan (FMI) mining company, and Clear Creek Associates.
Clear Creek hydrologists worked in partnership with the City and FMI to evaluate and ultimately increase the water supply from this valuable water resource. The City had traditionally relied on Bonita Creek for 70 percent of the area’s water supply; however, drought conditions in 2012 and 2013 had resulted in a 30 to 35 percent reduction in water delivered by the system to the City of Safford. By implementing a siphon to increase the efficiency of the capture system, the project increased flow of water by 25 percent providing a more reliable source of water. Click here to watch the video.
Clear Creek’s Principal Hydrogeologist, Marvin Glotfelty authored an article recently published in the National Ground Water Association’s Water Well Journal on the same topic Marvin presented during his McEllhiney Lecture Series back in 2012. The Article is titled “Life-Cycle Economic Analysis of Water Wells” and provides an explanation of how water well systems would benefit from designs based on comprehensive life-cycle costs rather than a low-bid mentality. The article can be found at this link. A more in-depth white paper of this topic is also presented here.
Doug Bartlett has been elected to the American Institute of Professional Geologist (AIPG) National Executive Committee office as President Elect for 2017. He will serve as President in 2018 and Past President in 2019. Congratulations Doug!
Marvin Glotfelty has been selected to serve as a judge for the Water Innovation Challenge, which is a competition supported by the Arizona Community Foundation, the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy, and Republic Media. They’re going to award $250K to the entity who provides a clever water plan, or as they put it: “the most innovative and scalable market-based, technological or entrepreneurial solution to advance the sustainability of its water future.” More information can be found at the link.
John Villinski presented “Field Investigation of In Situ Lime Neutralization of Acidic Sediment” on February 22 at the 2017 SME Annual Conference and Expo in Denver, Colorado. A copy of the presentation can be found here.
A service that Clear Creek frequently provides for its clients is demonstration of sustainable (“assured” or “adequate”) groundwater supplies. Our Tucson office manager, Greg Hess, recently contributed an article on this topic for the University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center newsletter. Click here to read the article.
Doug Bartlett authored an article in the latest edition of The Professional Geologist, titled De-licensure of geologists: Coming Soon?. Article at the link.
Clear Creek Associates hosted an intern from the first group of University of Arizona’s Geosciences program – Geopathways.
“I got experience in everything from mining sites to residential water use to analyzing geophysical data,” said Geopathways student Vincent LeBlanc, whose internship was with Clear Creek Associates, a hydrogeological consulting firm.
Alison Jones of Clear Creek Associates said her firm’s experience as an internship host was very positive.
She said about LeBlanc, “We were matched up with a very hard worker who will make a great employee after he graduates. He worked on a variety of tasks in a relatively short time, while helping us to provide value to our client. It was definitely a win-win.”
Read more about the program here.
Happy Anniversary to Greg Hess, Geno Mammini, Gwen Knadel, Paul Plato and Tom Suriano, who have been with Clear Creek Associates for 10 years! And Happy Anniversary to Ryan Mitchell and Kristi Sagar, who have been with Clear Creek Associates for 5 years!
Marvin Glotfelty presented a talk on “Understanding Groundwater” to the Kyl Center for Water Policy Leadership Roundtable on June 17, 2016.
Don Hanson gave a talk at the 89th Annual Arizona Water Association Conference titled, “Artificial Recharge – Better Accuracy Through Site-Specific Data Collection” on May 12, 2016.
Marvin Glotfelty presented “Life-Cycle Economic Analysis of Water Wells – Considerations for Design and Construction” for the Groundwater Resources Association of California webcast on May 25, 2016.
John Villinski presented his talk “FIELD PUSH-PULL TEST INVESTIGATION OF IN SITU NEUTRALIZATION OF ACIDIC SEDIMENT” on February 24th at the 2016 SME Annual Conference and Expo in Phoenix Arizona.
Abstract: Past mining activities potentially released acidity and heavy metals into natural systems and consumed the acid-neutralizing potential of the sediment. Subsequent metal sorption and hydroxysulfate precipitation resulted in acidity and metals stored with the sediment. Pump-and-treat (P&T) has been used to remediate aquifers impacted by AMD. However, P&T relies on passive migration of affected groundwater to a wellfield, protracting the remediation since solid phase reactions pose kinetic limitations on the release of stored acidity and metals to groundwater.
In situ alkali application is a potential alternative method to neutralize sediment acidity and sequester metals. Previous testing indicated that NaHCO3, Sesqui and lime are potential in situ remediation reagents. Testing indicated that if the treatment pH increased above 8.5, metals were remobilized, resulting in exceedances of remedial action objectives. A field-scale, push-pull test (PPT) was performed with NaHCO3 to evaluate the effectiveness and implementability of the in situ neutralization of an aquifer impacted by AMD. NaHCO3 was chosen for the PPT as it has a high solubility and has a treatment pH near 8.5.
Clear Creek Associates assisted the Town of Patagonia with its successful Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) grant application. These grants provide funding for water infrastructure planning or design projects and help prepare communities for necessary capital improvement projects. The Town of Patagonia intends to use the grant funding to better understand the alluvial aquifer that is the Town’s water source.
The Clear Creek Hydrogeology in the Field App is a field reference for hydrologists, geologists, and engineers dealing with groundwater and wells. There are numerous conversion calculators for hydraulic conductivity, transmissivity, and flow rates. This app will only work with an Android operating system.
The app also includes:
-Field Aquifer Test Estimator
-Thiem Steady State Drawdown Calculator
-Manometer/Orifice Plate Flow Chart
-Annular Volume Calculator
-Hydrostatic Pressure Calculator
-Casing String Weight Estimator
-Sampling Purge Volume Calculator
-Related Literature and Documents
Don Hanson wrote an article for The Arizona Water Association’s Fall 2015 magazine, The Kachina News, titled “Water Well Design For The Next 100 Years.” A copy of the article can be found at this link.
Ryan Mitchell will be presenting and offering two workshops on emerging mobile technologies and smart phone applications at the 2015 National Groundwater Association Expo this December in Las Vegas. Mr. Mitchell will discuss the available applications, how they work, and their degree of reliability.
For more information and scheduling visit GroundwaterExpo.com
Don Hanson and Marvin Glotfelty co-wrote an article for the September 2015 Water Well Journal titled, “Design for Draught and Climate Change: Flexibility is key when installing a water well system today.”
Link to the article. (Page 17)
On September 23, 2015, Wayne Feller presented results of ongoing monitoring and flow testing being conducted at the Bonita Creek Water Collection System to a special joint meeting of the City of Safford, Graham County, Town of Pima, and Town of Thatcher. The meeting was conducted to discuss the importance of the system and a proposed water conservation ordinance for residents. The Bonita Creek Water Collection System was developed in the late 1930s and currently provides nearly 80% of the potable water for the City of Safford service area. Clear Creek Associates conducted the work on behalf of Freeport McMoRan Safford, Inc. which partnered with Safford to investigate declining flows from the system. Clear Creek Associates provided design and oversight for the installation of several piezometer wells and assisted the City with operating the system under siphon flow conditions to increase production. Mr. Feller continues to manage pressure transducer data, precipitation data, and USGS stream flow data to monitor this precious water resource.
At the September 2015 AHS Conference, Victoria Hermosilla gave a talk regarding the use of iPads in the field. Abstract of the presentation:
Tablets are a relatively new technology that offer a suite of field-friendly uses, and subsequently help make data collection, or at least finding yourself on a map, a little bit easier.
Using an iPad in the field for about 2 years has allowed us to identify instances where the work was enhanced by iPad use. iPads can result in more complete field notes, which can be supplemented with annotated photos. They also helped in finding and returning to difficult to locate sites. Some inconveniences and shortcomings are also associated with the iPad, such as the Apple iOS to Microsoft interaction and lack of ease of data transfer, limited application versatility, and heat sensitivity.
Overall, using the iPad has been a positive experience for both our staff and clients. Tablets are ready for use in the field, can be protected from both the environment and the users, and will only become more important for data collection, maps, and whatever else our jobs will demand of us in the future.
Don Hanson presented, “Slug Tests For a Better Supply Well Design” on September 24, 2015 at the Tri-State Seminar in Las Vegas Nevada.
Abstract of the presentation:
Think two words, southwest and drought. Those two words are driving a frenzy of well installation projects across the “Tri-State” region. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting buyers are ending up with supply wells that do not meet expectations from either a production standpoint, water quality needs or both and there is little a buyer can do once the well installed. In today’s world of ever tighter budgets, entities must utilize the latest groundwater exploration techniques to minimize risk. One technique, slug or falling head tests can be used to predict both water quality and production before the well is actually installed. This presentation provides an overview of the data needs, analysis, and will present several case history examples comparing predicted vs. actual results.
On July 10, 2015, Mike Alter gave a presentation on artificial recharge (AR) at the Potomac Watershed Roundtable meeting. The presentation, Artificial Aquifer Recharge for Managing Water Resources in the Potomac Aquifer, provided Roundtable members with an understanding of how AR could help restore groundwater levels in Virginia’s Coastal Plain aquifers and also outlined how Virginia DEQ and EPA would authorize an AR project in Virginia.
Clear Creek Associates Co-Authors Research Paper in Groundwater
A recent project completed by the University of Arizona and Clear Creek Associates is included in the April 2015 “Tracers in the Subsurface” Theme Issue of the National Ground Water Association’s Groundwater journal, the leading international journal focused exclusively on groundwater. The paper “Identifying Recharge from Tropical Cyclonic Storms, Baja California Sur, Mexico” by Christopher J. Eastoe (University of Arizona), Greg Hess (Clear Creek Associates), and Susana Mahieux (Niparaja A.C.) describes an isotope study that was conducted to identify the origin of springs in the Todos Santos watershed, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Groundwater in the Todos Santos watershed in southern Baja California, and throughout the peninsula south of latitude 28◦ N, has values of (δ18 O‰, δD‰) ranging between (−8.3, −57) and (−10.9, −78). Such negative values are uncharacteristic of the site latitude near the sea level. Altitude effects do not explain the isotope data. Tropical depressions originating along the Pacific coast of North America yield rain with isotopic depletion; rain from these weather systems in southern Arizona commonly has δ18 O values < −10‰ in comparison with amount-weighted mean summer and fall rain at −6‰. Isotope data indicate hurricane rain as the predominant source of recharge in southern Baja California, where named tropical depressions bring large rains (>50 mm) at least once every 2 to 3 years, and along the Pacific coast between Jalisco and Oaxaca.
At the 88th Annual AZ Water Conference & Exhibition held in Glendale, AZ, Don Hanson, R.G. presented a case history study entitled, Entrained Air Evaluation – Is Nearby Artificial Recharge to Blame?”.
Artificial groundwater recharge (AR) is viewed by many as a panacea to offset groundwater mining in arid areas of the US and around the world. However, local hydrogeologic conditions can lead to undesirable side effects such as entrained air in groundwater pumped from wells within the recharge area. This presentation focused on a case study that investigated the relationship between entrained air in pumped groundwater and nearby AR. Aspects of hydraulics and groundwater chemistry were presented that show how the two may be linked.
Marvin Glotfelty was honored by the National Ground Water Association for his service as a contributor to the Best Suggested Practices for Aquifer Storage and Recovery. Click here for more information.
From the National Ground Water Association’s July 3, 2014 Newzine:
First Drinking Water Standard for Hexavalent Chromium Is Now Final
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the regulations establishing the nation’s first drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) of 10 parts per billion (ppb) have been approved by the Office of Administrative Law. The drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium became effective on July 1.
“California is the first and only state in the nation to establish a maximum contaminant level specifically for chromium-6 in drinking water,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, CDPH director and public health officer. “Establishing this maximum contaminant level (MCL) underscores California’s commitment to safe drinking water standards to protect the public health.”
The regulations set the MCL for hexavalent chromium in drinking water at 10 ppb and specifically regulate the hexavalent form of chromium. This is one-fifth the current total chromium standard of 50 ppb, which includes both trivalent chromium (chromium-3) and hexavalent chromium. The federal MCL for total chromium is 100 ppb. Chromium-3 is less toxic than chromium-6 and actually an essential nutrient at low dosages, while chromium-6 may pose a risk of cancer when ingested.
California adopted the first national law requiring an MCL for hexavalent chromium in 2001. State law requires a public health goal be established before an MCL may be set—and the MCL be set as close to the public health goal as economically and technologically feasible. The public health goal of 0.02 ppb was announced in July 2011.
The department performed a series of rigorous analyses that considered, among other things: the occurrence of hexavalent chromium in drinking water sources statewide; the methods, feasibility, and costs of detection; and treatment and monitoring technology. The department also considered extensive public comment from public and private stakeholders during the regulatory process, including from public water systems.
CDPH considered more than 18,000 public comments on the proposed standard before submitting a final proposal for approval. The state drinking water program will review the hexavalent chromium MCL at least every five years after its adoption.
The City of Phoenix, along with Clear Creek Associates, Carollo Engineers, Weber Water Resources and ASR Systems, has received the National Groundwater Association (NGWA) 2013 Outstanding Groundwater Project Award for Supply in recognition of their innovative collaboration on the City of Phoenix Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Wells project.
This award recognized the design and installation of three ASR wells for the City, each of which pioneered innovative technology. One of the ASR wells was first in the US to incorporate the “reverse-siphon” injection method, utilizing the well pump and above-ground valving to initiate recharge without entraining air in the filter pack or formation, and without the use of a subsurface flow control valve. The second ASR well has the deepest setting of a down-hole flow control valve below the pump assembly in the United States (over 1,000 feet), and the third ASR well is the first ASR well in the US to be constructed with a manufactured glass bead filter pack. These complex well designs were carefully developed to address the technical, logistical and regulatory requirements of each site, providing an operator-friendly system that is flexible and reliable, while saving the City $110,000 to $150,000 annually in well rehabilitation costs.
The award was presented at the opening ceremony of the 2013 NGWA Groundwater Expo in Nashville on Dec. 4.
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