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Arsenic forensic modeling leads to decommission of downgradient/off-site monitoring wells

Kinsella, Karen, Justham, Tanya P.
Environmental forensics 2018 v.19 no.2 pp. 112-121
arsenic, bedrock, forensic sciences, groundwater, groundwater contamination, hydrogeochemistry, models, monitoring, wells, New Hampshire
Arsenic was detected at concentrations exceeding the regulatory limit of 0.010 milligrams per liter (mg/L) in an off-site bedrock monitoring well downgradient of a former electroplating facility in Merrimack, New Hampshire. The bedrock underlying the site is associated with naturally occurring high concentrations of groundwater arsenic. Geochemical modeling was used to evaluate whether the arsenic in bedrock groundwater at the off-site monitoring location was site-related or naturally occurring. The hydrogeochemical signature of the off-site bedrock well did not resemble signatures of site-impacted bedrock wells. Multiple lines of evidence support that the arsenic observed in off-site bedrock groundwater was not a result of adverse impacts from site-related groundwater contamination.