Ground Water Monitoring
Ground water monitoring system at Mount Emmons:
As part of the mine permitting process for the molybdenum mine at Mount Emmons, near Crested Butte, Colorado, an extensive ground water monitoring well network was installed in the Pre-Cambrian rock that was host to the mineable reserves to determine pre-mining hydrologic conditions. After installation of the ground water monitoring well network, a monthly water level and water quality program was established to provide spatial and temporal data on the mine site for future assessment of mining impacts.
Ground water monitoring network at an industrial site in Chattanooga, Tennessee:
A nitrate production facility was being operated at the Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant as part of a former TNT manufacturing facility. A series of monitoring wells were installed in the underlying limestone formation to evaluate pre-existing ground water contamination related to the TNT manufacturing to differentiate liability associated with potential groundwater contamination from the nitrate production facility being operated by a private entity. In addition to water level and water quality monitoring, aquifer testing was also conducted due to the cavernous nature of the limestone in some locations.
Ground water monitoring network at coal mines in Wyoming and Montana:
Based on the need to develop alluvial valley floor studies, as well as establish hydrogeologic and water quality conditions across the mine permit areas, ground water well monitoring networks were established both in the alluvial valleys of arroyos crossing the mine permit areas, as well as deeper bedrock monitoring wells completed in the host rock associated with the coal seams. Data from the alluvial valley floor studies were used to assist in the permitting of the mines.
Ground water monitoring network at a gold mine near San Luis, Colorado:
Prior to the initiation of mining, a ground water monitoring network was installed to develop pre-mining baseline data in the vicinity of the two proposed open pits and to evaluate potential contamination due to leakage from the tailings facility. The baseline ground water data collection program was instrumental during mining to demonstrate that ground water quality issues related to specific constituents were present during the pre-mining and were not related to mine-related causes. Limited ground water monitoring has continued through the post-mining period, principally related to ongoing monitoring of potential leakage from the tailings facility.