To teach attendees how to correctly operate ground-water sampling pumps on wells at other sites that were not geothermal, improvisation was necessary. Pumps were relocated to an on-site catchment basin where water was cool to make it possible to show proper use of electric submersible pumps connected to a flow-cell with a multi-parameter sonde as would be used for low-flow purging and sampling.
Geothermal wells and electronic water level gauges do not get along as we discovered by talking to field sampling team members. The solution? Use a "plopper" to determine the depth to water - a method addressed in ASTM Standard Method D4750 that is not used a great deal normally, but here proved to save the day!
Attendees of this course all spoke Spanish (and very few spoke English), so Nielsen Environmental Field School worked with the company Comunicacion sin Fronteras to provide simultaneous translation of the entire course -- both in the classroom and outside during our field training sessions!

Example #1

Course Subjects: Ground-Water Monitoring & Sampling and Surface-Water Sampling

Course Location: Jutiapa, Guatemala

Course Length: 5 Days With Two Field Sessions

Who Attended? In-house environmental sampling staff, in-house project managers, as well as regulatory agency personnel from Guatemala and the neighboring countries of El Salvador and Honduras.

A Brief Overview of the Course:

Our client, one of the world's leaders in mining, wanted to bring its staff up to date on current field practices used in North America for ground-water monitoring well design and installation, ground-water sampling and surface-water sampling. Difficult hydrogeologic conditions created special issues for this client which included: installation of wells in volcanic materials and sampling of geothermal wells in addition to sampling very deep wells and wells with very little water.

Operating in a developing country also provided technical challenges, so regulatory agency personnel involved in developing and enforcing environmental regulations affecting ground-water monitoring at mining operations were also invited to attend so that they too could learn about current technologies. In addition to ground-water, the group was also interested in learning about proper strategies for monitoring and sampling surface-water systems because that too was included in their monitoring obligations by regulatory authorities.

We were able to modify our Complete Ground-Water Monitoring Course to include a session on surface-water sampling and field parameter measurement in surface-water systems. Two field sessions were conducted as part of this course. The first was on ground-water sampling at the new mine site just outside Jutiapa and the second was on surface-water sampling at a field site upstream of a nearby village.

Attendees of this course all spoke Spanish (and very few spoke English), so Nielsen Environmental Field School worked with the company Comunicacion sin Fronteras to provide simultaneous translation of the entire course -- both in the classroom and outside during our field training sessions!

Geothermal wells and electronic water-level gauges do not get along as we discovered by talking to field sampling team members. The solution? Use a "plopper" to determine the depth to water - a method addressed in ASTM Standard Method D4750 that is not used a great deal normally, but here proved to save the day!

To teach attendees how to correctly operate ground-water sampling pumps on wells at other sites that were not geothermal, improvisation was necessary. Pumps were relocated to an on-site catchment basin where water was cool enough to make it possible to show proper use of electric submersible pumps connected to a flow-cell with a multi-parameter sonde as would be used for low-flow purging and sampling.

What is Next?

Plans are in the works for us to return to Guatemala to do a follow-up course. Now that people have learned current procedures for sampling ground-water and surface water, the plan is for them to develop revised Standard Operating Procedures and then learn how to fine tune them in an advanced follow-up course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example #2

Course Subject: Environmental Sampling

Time was spent in the field to explain how multi-parameter sondes work and then students were instructed on the proper calibration techniques that they need to incorporate into their ground-water monitoring and surface water sampling programs.
Students learned how to collect depth-discrete water samples using a variety of surface-water sampling devices which included the Kemmerer Sampler seen here. Students worked from a catwalk over the clarification tank to learn how to use the devices. Students then analyzed the samples using a Hach spectrophotometer to determine changes in chemistry with depth within the clarification tank. These data confirmed the system was working properly.
Classroom sessions were held at the treatment facility office in Las Vegas. Classroom sessions were designed to work around typical daily schedules of the staff, so days started at 7:00 a.m. and finished up around 3:00 p.m.

Course Location: Las Vegas, NV

Course Length: 3 Days With One Field Session

Who Attended? In-house environmental sampling staff involved with monitoring one of the nation's largest waste-water treatment facilities.  Staff working at several remote waste-water treatment facilities in the state also attended.

A Brief Overview of the Course:

Our client for this course operates a very large waste-water treatment facility which is responsible for the treatment of incoming effluent from the City of Las Vegas and surrounding suburbs. In conjunction with the operation of this waste-water treatment facility, the site has regulatory requirements for monitoring ground water, surface water, and effluent discharge chemistry. This requires sampling team members to be knowledgeable in current sampling protocols for both manual and automated sampling programs throughout the facility.

To meet the training needs of this client, we modified our Environmental Sampling Field Course to focus on ground water, surface water, SSO and waste sampling. The final afternoon of the course was spent in the field learning how to deploy surface-water sampling devices, how to work with multi-parameter instrumentation for surface-water and effluent monitoring applications and how to collect ground-water samples from an on-site monitoring well. A good field site was not immediately accessible for surface-water sampling, so we improvised and sampled in the clarification tanks of the treatment facility.

We soon discovered that the on-site ground-water monitoring well, screened in a very fine-grained formation, was not going to be a good candidate for traditional purging methods used on high-yield wells, so the field session focused on how to determine what the optimal purging and sampling strategy should be. No-purge sampling, using a HydraSleeve, solved the problem.

Classroom sessions were held at the treatment facility office in Las Vegas. Classroom sessions were designed to work around typical daily schedules of the staff, so days started at 7:00 a.m. and finished up around 3:00 p.m.

Students learned how to collect depth-discrete water samples using a variety of surface-water sampling devices which included the Kemmerer Sampler seen here. Students worked from a catwalk over the clarification tank to learn how to use the devices. Students then analyzed the samples using a Hach spectrophotometer to determine changes in chemistry with depth within the clarification tank. These data confirmed the system was working properly.

Time was spent in the field to explain how multi-parameter sondes work and then students were instructed on the proper calibration techniques that they need to incorporate into their ground-water monitoring and surface-water sampling programs.

What's Next?

As part of its in-house Quality Assurance Program for field sampling staff, the Nielsen Environmental Field School is now conducting 2- to 3-day customized classes for staff twice a year.