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Consequence management, recovery & restoration after a contamination event.

Description: The fate of contaminants after a dispersal event is a major concern, and waterways may be particularly sensitive to such an incident. Contaminants could be introduced directly into a water system (municipal or general) or indirectly (Radiological Dispersal Device) from aerial dispersion, precipitation, or improper clean-up techniques that may wash contamination into storm water drains, sewer systems, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Most radiological, chemical, and biological contaminants have an affinity for sediments and organic matter in the water system. If contaminated soils enter waterways, a plume of contaminated sediments could be left behind, subject to remobilization during the next storm event. Or, contaminants could remain in place, thus damaging local ecosystems. Suitable planning and deployment of resources to manage such a scenario could considerably mitigate the severity of the event. First responses must be prearranged so that clean-up efforts do not increase dispersal and exacerbate the problem. Interactions between the sediment, contaminant, and water cycle are exceedingly complex and poorly understood. This research focused on the development of a risk-based model that predicts the fate of introduced contaminants in surface water systems. Achieving this goal requires integrating sediment transport with contaminant chemical reactions (sorption and desorption) and surface water hydrodynamics. Sandia leveraged its existing state-of-the-art capabilities in sediment transport measurement techniques, hydrochemistry, high performance computing, and performance assessment modeling in an effort to accomplish this task. In addition, the basis for the physical hydrodynamics is calculated with the EPA sponsored, public domain model, Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC). The results of this effort will enable systems analysis and numerical simulation that allow the user to determine both short term and long-term consequences of contamination of waterways as well as to help formulate preventative and remedial strategies.
Date: October 1, 2005
Creator: Jones, Craig R.; James, Scott Carlton & Roberts, Jesse Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department