More data, less uncertainty, for a more precise expertise.
The fact that HRSC tools continuously acquire data offers a considerable advantage over conventional sampling methods by palliating to many of their uncertainty and limitations. For example, one can think of the complete absence of data in between samples sent to the lab, or of the incomplete recovery of soils when sampling with split spoons or PVC liners, or other artifact related to the necessity to extract soils from the ground with heavy machinery. Those imprecisions not only hinder an accurate understanding of site-specific contamination dynamics, but can make it easy to miss important data altogether. HRSC gets around those inconveniences by measuring the properties of every centimeter of soil in their native configuration, at a faster rate. When doing this, one notices that the small soil heterogeneities can greatly impact how contaminants spread on a centimeter scale, and can therefore pinpoint exactly the start, the end, and the most affected zone of a contamination plume at any given location, again, with minimal perturbation.
Moreover, the great amount of data quickly collected during a HRSC allows for the modeling of a 3D conceptual model of the site dynamics and its contaminants with respect to the different granulometric layers. By easily importing the data in any stratigrapic software, one can not only visualize better its site, but perform much more accurate calculations of contaminated volumes of soil, for instance.
Faster sampling and analysis
Operating the technologies behind a HRSC only consists of pushing a probe directly into the ground with a drill, without handling samples or drilling casings and liners. Moreover, because of its small radius, the probe is more easily pushed than the conventional sampling equipment. Hence, not only is there a higher density of data for every hole, but the consultant can fit a lot more in a single day than with the conventional method.
However, coming from experience, we know that quality of data matters more than quantity. The ability to interpret results as they appear almost instantaneously directly on site offers the possibility to adapt decision-making as we go along. Experts do not have to wait a couple of days until the lab results come in, and can therefore decide right away the best data to collect to assure no cumbersome samples are needlessly analysed.
Best Management Practice
It is no accident that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has deemed HRSC a "best management practice." Indeed, the precision and speed hereby mentioned have a game-changing impact on the efficiency, the accuracy, and therefore the competitivity of your environmental characterizations and rehabilitations. One great advantage of the high resolution lies in the optimized, site-specific management of your resources. For instance, by quickly identifying the relevant regions of site, one avoids characterizing extensively a non-contaminated zone. Since our instruments' threshold for detection are well below criteria A, one can quickly and confidently know if a region is affected or not. Therefore, if a HRSC is used in an exploratory manner to pinpoint the most relevant regions and depths, the environmental experts can then minimize the amount of further drilling to perform, of wells to install, and of sample to send for detailed chemical analysis.
Of course, a HRSC does not remplace the legal need to send samples to a certified laboratory, but it allows, as a first step, to take site-specific decisions, which then turn into substantial time, risks and money savings. But most importantly, it is the synergy of both methods that allows for a characterization efficiency otherwise impossible. By correlating complete HRSC data with the results of a few, HRSC-selected sample sent for detailed chemical analysis, we can easily extrapolates to other depths/drilling to paint a cost-effective, quick, accurate and complete multi-scale picture of a contaminated site. This of course significantly helps in formulating a surgical intervention plan for the remediation, again saving your and your clients' resources.
Moreover, while this is true for any conventional remediation strategy, a HRSC is especially useful when combined with emergent in situ treatments. By reducing uncertainties by two order of magnitude (m to cm!), the center of the contamination can accurately be determined, for a more effective treatment. With our in situ probes, one can then quickly follow the success of the remediation by comparing the signals before and after the remediation, without handling any samples.
Try a HRSC for your next project!
The arithmetic is simple: an optimized characterization makes for satisfied customers; the streamlined methodology allows for a better project turnover and the risk diminution makes everybody happy, our planet included. Our approach is cost-effective, rapid and accurate, and the applications are therefore abundant. However, as in every methods, there are limits and caveats to every application.
Contact Technologies LLE's team to see if your projects can benefit from a HRSC, or if you have any question.