GRA CENTRAL COAST BRANCH: Innovative Plume Stability Evaluation and Groundwater Monitoring Program Optimization

October 16, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
UC Santa Barbara Physical Science Building

Eryn Torres, M.S.
Project Professional Geosyntec Consultants, Inc. Santa Barbara, CA


At most large sites, monitoring wells tend to be added sequentially during site characterization in a process that can take years. The result can be a site with hundreds of wells that are required to be monitored on a regular (often quarterly) basis. These monitoring networks may have prolific redundancies in spatial coverage. Depending on the overall stability of the plumes being monitored, there can be tremendous opportunities to streamline both the monitoring network and the frequency of monitoring. A new groundwater monitoring program optimization method has been developed to evaluate the monitoring well networks and sampling frequency for groundwater monitoring programs Earth Volumetric Studio (EVS) in combination with Python algorithms to implement advanced workflows following logical statistics. As part of this process, a method providing a visual and mass-distribution based analysis of plume stability for all COCs using EVS was also developed. The first project to use this method was a large refinery site in the Los Angeles Basin. The site has a large of array of monitoring wells (860) dating back to the 1980s, intended to characterize plume conditions in seven aquifer units. The existing program included quarterly sampling of ~450 wells, and an average of ~1400 samples per year. The newly approved program samples 57 wells semiannually, 158 wells annually, and 99 wells biennially, for an average of 322 samples per year. The new program will save the client 65% of their annual monitoring and reporting costs, and an estimated $31.8M over the next 30 years. The customization of criteria and the automation of the decision algorithms allow for application of this method at a variety of monitoring sites, providing tremendous value.

Eryn Torres, M.S. Project Professional Geosyntec Consultants, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA


Ms. Torres is a project professional with 8 years of experience providing strategic and conceptual technical support for a variety of clients and projects with subsurface problems. Ms. Torres has a Master of Science degree in geophysics and has focused her career on building complex 3D geologic and fluid models of the subsurface using various modeling programs. Ms. Torres acts as a technical expert in the study and evaluation of groundwater aquifers, their communication, and the monitoring and remediation of environmental contaminants using 3-D visualization and volumetric modeling software, along with statistical analysis tools and scripting algorithms. Ms. Torres is active in stakeholder engagement, ensuring all technical aspects are clearly communicated and all decision criteria are properly considered in the technical approach. Ms. Torres has supported projects in various stages of investigation and remediation. She has provided visualizations, groundwater flow estimates, contaminated mass and volume estimates, resource-in-place estimates, and characterizations of conditions changing over time. Ms. Torres also provides strategic guidance and evaluations for monitoring and remediation activities on sites with a variety of media and contaminants of concern.

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