One of the many purpose’s for installing a monitoring well is to allow for the periodic collection of groundwater samples and to measure groundwater properties over time. Quality control during monitoring well installation is critical for ensuring that reliable samples can be collected. The proper decontamination of sampling equipment is key to quality control.
Effective decontamination procedures during groundwater monitoring well installations will prevent the transfer of contaminants from one site or drilling location to another and will allow for reliable sample collection.
What is the Decontamination Plan?
A decontamination plan for equipment must be designed prior to any field activities. Several steps to an effective groundwater monitoring well installation decontamination plan include:
Choosing a Staging Area
Prior to any drilling or excavation work at a site, a decontamination area must be identified, properly constructed, maintained and closed after use. This will allow for a consistently controlled area for equipment to be cleaned and released back to the field.
Understanding the Contaminants
You should have an understanding of the contaminants present at a site and the associated appropriate cleaning solutions needed to remove contaminants from equipment. Properly disposing of wastes generated from cleaning activities is part of the plan.
Cleaning Solutions and Containers for Monitor Wells
You have to use the right container for the right cleaning solution to ensure that the vessel used to apply the solution does not fail. Detergents must be poured from plastic, metal or glass vessels. Tap water should be dispensed from tanks, hand pressure sprayers, squeeze bottles or directly from a hose. Deionized water and organic-free water both have their own unique requirements that must be understood and followed.
Equipment Cleaning Procedures for Environmental Drilling
Every effort must be made to thoroughly decontaminate equipment while on site and prior to demobilization. This basic process involves removing earthen material from equipment, water-rinsing and washing with a detergent followed by a final rinse. This procedure varies for deep drilling equipment such as augers that require more aggressive cleaning such as sandblasting or wire brush cleaning.
Inspecting Drilling Equipment
A visual inspection of drilling equipment should be conducted prior use, after decontamination and prior to transporting off site. When all of the cleaning methods and procedures are followed, simply inspecting for residual contamination is a good follow-up quality control measure.
Who Knows About Environmental Drilling?
Safety is very important when it comes to installing monitor wells. To get the best results, you need to select a professional company with plenty of environmental drilling experience. They will know the challenges before hand and have the means to work through just about any issue. If you need monitor wells installed in Texas, New Mexico or Oklahoma, give the environmental drilling experts at Talon/LPE a call today. If you have a question about monitor well installations or would like a quote, contact us today.