HGL is a prominent leader in the development of modeling and optimization tools for investigating and restoring contaminated groundwater and surface water. These tools are being integrated with HGL’s PFAS-Data Exchange (PFAS-DX) database to create HGL’s PFAS-Decision Support System (PFAS-DSS). Use of PFAS-DSS will ensure more confident decision-making regarding investigation and response actions at sites contaminated with various PFAS compounds.
HGL’s PFAS Decision Support System (PFAS-DSS)
Integrated Modules of PFAS-DSS
The PFAS-DX tool captures key PFAS transport, chemical, toxicity, and regulatory compliance data. A user-friendly interface module is being developed to facilitate queries of the database for PFAS compound-specific parameters. These parameters can be used as a knowledge base to support CSM development and simulation of fate and transport processes at PFAS project sites.
Chemical and transport parameters from the PFAS-DX can be applied in HGL’s proprietary MODFLOW-SURFACT™ software to support simulation of fate and transport processes at PFAS-contaminated sites. For complex sites contaminated with PFAS as well as CVOCs and underlain by fractured bedrock, MODFLOW-SURFACT™ is capable of simulating multi-component transport in porous and fractured media taking into account matrix diffusion and immobile DNAPL sources that may be present in the vadose zone. MODFLOW-SURFACT™ links directly with HGL’s PlumeSeeker™ and Physics-Based Management Optimization (PBMO™) technologies.
PlumeSeeker™ determines the minimum number and optimal locations of monitoring wells needed to delineate the boundary of a plume and provides a quantitative measure of how well a plume is defined and being monitored. Optimally chosen monitoring networks reduce well installation costs, especially in deep or complex subsurface environments, and result in reduced monitoring and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs.
PBMO™ links advanced optimization algorithms with numerical modeling to optimize existing or planned environmental remedies. Currently, pump-and-treat systems represent one of the few viable remedies to contain and mitigate PFAS migration. HGL’s PBMO™ technology has been successfully applied to small systems consisting of a few operating wells and large systems with nearly 80 extraction wells, focusing on maximizing mass removal and demonstrating containment while minimizing costs. PBMO™ earned the Grand Prize in the Innovative Research category of the 2017 Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ competition. The annual international competition, organized by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists®, has been rewarding the best in current environmental engineering and science since 1989.
HGL uses commercially available Earth Volumetric Studio (EVS) software for visualizing CSMs, numerical model input, and modeling simulation results. HGL has customized EVS to view data from our innovative modeling technologies within PFAS-DSS in 2-D or 3-D and to produce animations. Use of EVS facilitates confident stakeholder decision-making and promotes clear communication among all site stakeholders. An example 3-D visualization output from site-specific application of the EVS module is shown in the figure below.
3-D Visualization of CSM, PFAS Source Area, Simulated PFAS Plume and Monitoring Well Network
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