G360 PROJECT TEAM: Dr. Beth Parker, Dr. Emmanuelle Arnaud, Dr. Peeter Pehme, Dr. John Cherry, Dr. Emil Frind, Jackie Harman, Chrystyn Skinner (MSc Candidate), Kathleen Johnson (MASc Candidate) & Teresa Pilato (MASc Candidate)
The Silurian dolostone belt extending from the Niagara escarpment to Bruce County is a major bedrock aquifer supplying approximately 1 million people with drinking water in larger (Guelph, Cambridge) and smaller (Fergus, Orangeville) communities. Two of the City of Guelph’s 23 municipal pumping wells, threatened by the occurrence of trichloroethene (TCE), a former industrial solvent and a human carcinogen, are the focus of an NSERC CRD Project. While the levels of TCE are very low and meet drinking water guidelines, it is not known how the concentrations of TCE will be affected by long term pumping, changing rates of pumping, seasonal variations in recharge, impacts from pumping of other wells in the area, and chemical processes within the aquifer.
Understanding these interrelated impacts are critical to the City’s long term management of secure and sustainable potable groundwater supplies. The G360 Group integrated high resolution field and laboratory characterization and monitoring techniques, referred to as the DFN (Discrete Fracture Network) field approach, to refine the site conceptual models and design and install four multilevel monitoring systems to provide ongoing monitoring of water chemistry in three dimensions. Three MSc students are working on refining site conceptual models in the vicinity of these new high resolution monitoring systems, including an enhanced analysis of hydrogeologic units and the development of a new, more efficient way of modelling flow in fractured rock. This modelling project is being undertaken under the direction of Dr. Emil Frind at the University of Waterloo and Dr. Beth Parker.