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CASE STUDY: USING GIS TO TRACK AND MANAGE GROUNDWATER MONITORING DATA AT A SPECIALTY CHEMICAL PLANT LOCATED IN CHESTER, SOUTH CAROLINA

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A Geographic Management System (GIS) is currently being developed to track and manage groundwater monitoring data that has been generated at a chemical specialty plant located in Chester, South Carolina. The facility occupies approximately 96 acres and since 1963 has manufactured specialty chemical products that are used in the textile, paper product, and graphic arts industries. Since 1984 the former owner of the facility has spent 8,700,000 on investigative and remedial activities at the site, and to date has collected and analyzed more than 4,600 samples to define the quality of the site's soil and groundwater. The primary contaminants of concern in the groundwater include PCE and TCE, which occur in the bedrock underlying the site and underlying several neighboring properties. Periodic monitoring of groundwater quality conditions has been performed over the past several years using 30 monitoring wells located on and downgradient of the property. The monitoring is being performed to delineate the groundwater contaminants and to track changes in the extent of contaminant plumes. In order to manage this data, as well as to monitor the distribution of the groundwater contamination over time, a GIS was developed.

ESRI's Arcview 3.2a is being used in conjunction with Microsoft Access database software to manage the groundwater monitoring data and to build geospatial presentations that provide a visual depiction of groundwater quality at the site. The GIS was developed with the ability to access databases developed for each monitoring event, thereby making each of those events readily available for review and interpretation. In order to place this data in its proper context to aid in its interpretation, additional elements such as the locations of nearby homes that are supplied by private wells, site geology, local demographics, locations subjected to past remedial actions, site history, monitoring well construction information, and other pertinent information were included in the GIS. These elements were integrated into several map views that were designed to present a complete picture of site quality conditions in relation to potential receptors and sources, and to provide justification for the remedial efforts being performed or to be performed. Since the GIS is transportable, it will also be used as a tool to make presentations to the customer and to the regulatory agency that oversees the project.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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