Main content area

A groundwater management plan for Stuttgart

Vasin, Sandra, Carle, Achim, Lang, Ulrich, Kirchholtes, Hermann Josef
The Science of the total environment 2016 v.563-564 pp. 704-712
anthropogenic activities, aquifers, chlorinated hydrocarbons, groundwater, groundwater contamination, industrialization, mathematical models, mineral water, prioritization, remediation, solvents, springs (water), urban areas, water management, water quality
In general, groundwater in urban areas is exposed to anthropogenic influence and suffers from concentrations of contaminants. Stuttgart, as a highly industrialized city, has more than 5000 contaminated sites which might influence the Stuttgart's mineral water quality. Despite tremendous efforts and intensive single site orientated remediation since 1984 in downtown, the mineral springs were still affected with chlorinated hydrocarbons at low concentrations. Therefore, the applied practices of environmental management and measures for mitigation of pollution sources were not sufficient and had to be adjusted.The main goal of this study is to define an integral remediation plan (a groundwater management plan), focusing on the key sources of chlorinated solvents which are relevant for the mineral springs.For the large-scale investigated area of 26.6km2 and eight aquifers, an extensive investigation and characterization methods were used in order to delineate the contamination plumes. By means of a 3D numerical model, the prioritization of the contaminated sites could be performed. Five contaminated sites with high remediation priority and need for optimized or additional remediation efforts were determined. For those five contaminated sites feasibility studies were performed which resulted in recommendation of remediation measures with total costs of more than 12.5 million euros.The proposed strategy and approach are suitable for multiple sources of contamination. Only in this way, the contributions of single contaminated sites to the total groundwater contamination can be identified and local remediation measures with their spatial impact simulated. Due to very complex geological conditions, technically there is no alternative to this strategy in order to achieve the contamination reduction in groundwater.