A Study of Shallow Groundwater Migration through Anthropogenic Fill along a Seawall
This report provides the findings and opinions of a historical document review, hydraulic balance calculation, and proposed additional study for a property that was historically used as a bulk petroleum storage and distribution facility. The property lies along the base, west, of a heavily vegetated bluff with a tidally influenced body of water west-adjacent to the property. The western portion of the property is bounded by a seawall spanning approximately 3,200 linear feet trending north-south. The seawall’s construction details are not known, save for a 225-foot section of driven sheet pile wall located within the northern portion of the property’s seawall. Due to the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and groundwater at the property, a cleanup action for the property will likely be overseen by the state regulatory agency. The property is currently undergoing remedial investigation in an effort to identify the lateral and vertical extent in which contaminants at the property have come to be located, also known as the “site” as defined by the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). The majority of the property bounded within the seawall area has been characterized; however, the shoreline sediments located immediately west-adjacent of the seawall have not been properly delineated. Identifying the bounds of the site to the west within sediment is pivotal for the purposes of the remedial investigation. Since the west-adjacent shoreline is so extensive, conducting a complete sediment sampling event along the entire shoreline would be cost-prohibitive due to analytical costs and logistical issues at the property. Because of the extensive nature of the shoreline, it would greatly benefit the client and project to focus sampling efforts at areas of greater risk for contaminants along the shoreline by identifying potential preferential pathways for contaminants to migrate off of the property and into adjacent shoreline sediments. The review of historical studies of the property yielded some useful information; however much of the findings included within the historical studies were lacking original raw data, therefore limiting the information obtained. The calculated hydraulic balance for the property yielded a relatively large surplus of recharge to groundwater after precipitation events, reinforcing the concept that contaminant have potentially historically, and currently, been migrating into the adjacent shoreline through preferential pathways along the seawall. Due to the limitation within the historical studies for the property as well as the groundwater recharge identified in the hydraulic balance, an additional study was proposed in an effort to provide additional aquifer characteristics along the seawall, and the ability to observe flow propagation at and proximate to the seawall in two-dimensions through time without the need to piece separate studies together. This proposed study includes a single simultaneous tidal study which comprises select monitoring points along the seawall. This report has identified the need for additional data that can be collected through available avenues for the property based upon the client’s desires and project needs. Ultimately, the proposed additional study is suggested based upon its relatively low capital investment, and ability meet the requirements relevant to the specific project needs and scope. Assuming preferential pathways are identified through the additional study proposed within this report, a representative and cost-effective sediment sampling plan can then be put in place in an effort to define the site.