Monitoring Borehole Drilling and Water Quality Sampling
Umvoto was commissioned by a corrosion protection specialist to undertake the drilling of two monitoring boreholes into the Cape Flats Aquifer (CFA), and baseline hydrochemical analysis of CFA groundwater from these two boreholes, at a new facility in Bellville, Cape Town. Once operations at the facility begin Umvoto will also be responsible for the bi-annual hydrochemical monitoring of groundwater at the facility.
The company specialises in corrosion protection processes such as galvinising, which present potential groundwater contamination hazards due to the various chemicals/metals used in and wastewater/products produced by these corrosion protection processes. As a part of the facility’s operational Environmental Management Plan (EMP), Umvoto supervised the installation of two monitoring wells, up and down hydraulic gradient of the production and storage areas of the facility to allow for groundwater monitoring. These boreholes penetrated the full thickness of the CFA due to the CFA’s inherent and contamination vulnerability through the whole aquifer profile. Umvoto also collected baseline quality samples from the two monitoring boreholes following drilling using a sampling pump, for extensive hydrochemical (macrochemical, microbiological, metal and “ContamScan”) analysis. The baseline groundwater quality samples and succeeding hydrochemical analyses indicate that although there are some anthropogenic impacts on CFA groundwater in the vicinity of the facility (predominantly microbiological contamination, although some potentially minor impacts on salinity and minor arsenic contamination), there is no hydrochemical evidence of large scale CFA groundwater contamination prior to the initiation of the facility’s operations (especially with regards to metals, and other potential industrial contaminants analysed by the “ContamScan”). Umvoto looks forward to undertaking continuous groundwater quality monitoring of the site and assisting in ensuring the facility operates within the conditions of their EMP and other environmental authorisations.
Atlantis Private Industrial User Projects
Umvoto was appointed by a private industrial user to undertake an assessment of soil quality to determine potential impacts associated with uncontrolled effluent discharge from a fish processing facility situated in the industrial suburb of Atlantis, City of Cape Town.
The aim of the soil quality assessment was to undertake sampling of potentially impacted soils located hydraulically down-gradient of the facility, and soil hydraulically up-gradient of the facility unimpacted by the effluent runoff (acting as a background control sample). To assess impacts, the soil quality was compared to the soil screening values as outlined in the Norms and Standards for the Remediation of Contaminated Land and Soil Quality, 2014 (Government Notice (GN) R.331 of 2014). In addition, the results from the impacted soils were compared to the background control sample to assess site variations and potential contamination from the uncontrolled effluent discharge.
Umvoto also assisted the user with a contamination assessment and development of a qualitative stormwater management and maintenance plan (SWMMP) for a proposed sand drying plant in Atlantis. This included determining potential sources of groundwater and surface water contamination from the proposed sand drying plant, while ensuring that the qualitative SWMMP meets the requirements of the CCT and Department of Water and Sanitation.
eThekwini Contamination Assessment Project
Umvoto was approached to provide specialist input to a contaminated site in Phoenix (eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal). Infilling of gravel and rubble at the site encroached into a wetland buffer area and in places covered portions of the wetland. Umvoto were requested to undertake a waste assessment of the infilled materials at the site, and potential associated soil and water impacts to the receiving environment. This included sediment sampling and analysis from both shallow ~5 m excavation sites and deeper boreholes up to 20 m depth. The waste assessment allowed for the identification and classification of the waste types, for the separation of materials that may need to be sent to different landfill types based on risk or can be beneficially re-used used in the site re-development.