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Overview

Waterborne’s scientists and engineers are well educated with every phase of groundwater monitoring studies. We share our knowledge on the predesign negotiation phase through final study design, hydrogeologic characterization, monitoring equipment installation and operation, sampling and/or field data collection, data interpretation and final report preparation.

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Groundwater Monitoring Studies

We have conducted many groundwater monitoring studies that have varied in complexity, scale, duration and geographic extent. The most common we address are prospective and retrospective groundwater studies.

Prospective Groundwater Study

A prospective groundwater monitoring (PGW) study assesses an agrochemical’s potential to leach to groundwater in vulnerable use areas when applied under normal agronomic practices according to the product’s label. Waterborne personnel have built years of expertise dealing with dozens of PGW studies throughout the United States. Our savvy personnel are integral to the site selection, characterization, instrumentation, product application and sampling phases of these studies.

Retrospective Groundwater Monitoring Study

A retrospective groundwater monitoring (RGW) study focuses on assessing whether normal use of a product over a period of years has had an effect on groundwater quality. The scale of RGW studies performed by Waterborne has ranged from a handful of wells distributed over very specific soils, geologic regimes and use areas to many hundreds of wells distributed over many states/regions representing multiple use environments.

Our Services

We work closely with clients in the early study design and negation phases with regulatory agencies. This way, we’re able to use our knowledge to plan a study that efficiently meets the client’s needs while fulfilling those of the regulatory authority. We have often been able to reduce or limit the scope of groundwater studies through the use of Waterborne’s Modeling and GIS analyses.

Runoff Monitoring Studies

Runoff monitoring is receiving increased attention for both higher-tier ecological risk assessments and for addressing drinking water exposure. Waterborne has conducted runoff studies as part of product stewardship and product support measures for both the US Environmental Protection Agency and individual state agencies.

Runoff monitoring studies include field-scale studies and studies with small-scale plots using irrigation systems and portable artificial rainfall simulators. We have a tested and proven rainfall simulator available for use in North America. The following site-specific components have been installed for a wide range of runoff monitoring projects:

  • Portable rainfall simulators
  • Flow diversion structures
  • Weirs
  • Autosamplers (with solar powered refrigeration if needed)
  • Tensiometers
  • Drain tile access wells
  • Weather stations
  • Flumes
  • Flowmeters
  • Velocity Sensors
  • Piezometers
  • In situ degradation microcosms

Samples collected for residue analysis have included:

  • Runoff water and sediment
  • Soils and unconsolidated materials
  • Foliage, foliar residuem and washoff
  • Plastic mulch residue and washoff

Aquatic Dissipation and Monitoring Studies

We have conducted and managed countless aquatic field dissipation studies (Aquatic Studies) (USEPA Guideline Reference No. OPPTS 835.6200). The purpose of Aquatic Studies for agrochemicals is to determine the extent of dissipation and mobility of agrochemical residues under actual use conditions. These studies generate real-world data for evaluating potential hazards of an agrochemical (including mobility, formation of metabolites and degradation of the parent compound) under actual use conditions, and generate information relative to mechanisms of dissipation in various aquatic environments.

Our experience conducting Aquatic Studies includes a variety of application scenarios (e.g., direct injection, partial pond, and whole pond) and environments including rivers, irrigation canals, rice paddies and ponds/lakes of all sizes. These studies are sometimes conducted entirely by Waterborne personnel when the study location is near one of our facilities or the duration of sampling is short. In other cases, routine sampling is performed using contract research organizations (CRO) that have passed our detailed pre-qualification inspection.

When Waterborne uses a CRO for field work, we always retain the management responsibilities (Study Director or Principal Investigator). In many cases, we have worked repeatedly with CROs (field cooperators) and they are part of a diverse network of capable CROs allowing us to place studies anywhere in North America. Waterborne plans to expand our market for this type of study in the near future.

Aquatic Monitoring and Fate Studies

We help our clients establish label restrictions/setbacks for agrochemicals that are applied directly to water bodies and for crop-applied agrochemicals adjacent to vulnerable water bodies.

The aquatic dispersion studies that we have conducted include:

  • Partial application in multiple Florida lakes and a river system
  • Direct injection in multiple western irrigation canals
  • Direct injection in a Minnesota lake
  • Partial- and whole-pond applications in experimental ponds in the west, central and southern United States
  • Large-scale, aerial applications for rice paddies at multiple locations in Louisiana and Arkansas

AFD Studies

We know all about rice production and have performed numerous rice paddy AFD studies with seed treatment, ground and aerial applications at multiple locations in Arkansas, Louisiana and California. Because of this experience, we’ve developed an environmental fate model (RICEWQ) specific to rice production that has been used throughout the world to address regulatory concerns.

Drinking Water Monitoring

Characterizing the quality of drinking water, whether from a surface or groundwater source, for human consumption is a key component of risk assessment for chemicals throughout the world. We’re proud of our scientists who have successfully completed numerous drinking water characterization studies across the United States.

These monitoring programs involved sampling Community Water Systems (CWSs) and rural drinking water wells in target product use areas to evaluate in drinking water quality. Depending on the program objective, sampling frequency can be statistically designed to evaluate trends with monitoring at specific intervals or to provide a single “snapshot” in time with resampling if detections are reported.

Our Approach

We use a combination of GIS, Modeling, and field studies to select, characterize and evaluate suitable water supplies to meet a monitoring program’s objective. Monitoring programs have been conducted by our staff (or in some cases by qualified partners) from the small-scale (sampling individual drinking water wells) to large-scale sampling of municipal CWSs. Our breadth of experience enables us to assemble highly qualified sampling teams wherever the monitoring program may be required.