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Delaware Geological Survey Issues Report on Hydrogeologic Impacts of Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems

The Delaware Geological Survey released a new technical report entitled “Hydrogeology of a Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems at Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware” which was prepared by A. Scott Andres and Changming He of the Delaware Geological Survey, Edward Walther of the South Water Management District, Florida, and Müserref Türkmen of the Izmir Water and Sewerage Administration, Turkey, and DGS Bulletin 21B documents the results of a detailed study of groundwater and hydrogeology at a rapid infiltration basin system.

Delaware Geological Survey Issues Report on Wastewater Treatment used for Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems

The Delaware Geological Survey released a new technical report entitled “Evaluation Of Wastewater Treatment Options Used In Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems (RIBS)” which was prepared by Müserref Türkmen of the Izmir Water and Sewearge Administration, Turkey, A. Scott Andres of the Delaware Geological Survey, Edward Walther of the South Water Management District, Florida, and William Ritter and Anastasia Chirnside of the University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. DGS Bulletin 21A documents the results of a detailed study of wastewater treatment plant technologies and effectiveness of treatment types that are used to treat wastewater prior to disposal into the ground by rapid infiltration basin systems.

B21A Evaluation of Wastewater Treatment Options Used in Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems (RIBS)

This technical report evaluates several aspects of potential environmental risks, use, and regulation of rapid infiltration basin systems (RIBS) in Delaware. The report reviews and compares regulations regarding RIBS from Delaware, Florida,North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Influent and effluent samples from ten advanced wastewater treatment systems that operate in conjunction with RIBS were collected and analyzed. Effluent data obtained from the Non-Hazardous Waste Sites database provided by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and other states were assessed. Performance evaluations of the treatment processes that discharge to RIBS were ascertained from the exceedance of concentrations of regulated pollutants in effluent samples.

Although RIBS technology has the potential to be a beneficial alternative to surface discharge and a means for groundwater recharge, this technology is appropriate only if the adverse environmental impacts are minimized. Overall operation and maintenance practices play important roles in the performance of treatment plants. The most common and serious problems associated with treatment plants located in Delaware and neighboring states are high nutrient and pathogen concentrations in the effluent. In Delaware, the discharge of poorly treated effluent to RIBS creates a risk of nutrient and pathogen contamination in the receiving water body, the shallow Columbia aquifer. Years of application of treated effluent with high nutrient, pathogen, and organic content to RIBS will result in significant risks for the environment and public health.

Assessing Potential Impacts of a Wastewater Rapid Infiltration Basin System on Groundwater Quality: A Delaware Case Study

DGS staff member A. Scott Andres along with J. Thomas Sims of the University’s Department of Plant and Soil Science have had a paper “Assessing Potential Impacts of a Wastewater Rapid Infiltration Basin System on Groundwater Quality: A Delaware Case Study” published in the Journal of Environmental Quality. This paper is the latest technical report from a DGS-led project “Evaluation of Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems (RIBS).” Four additional reports on this project are nearing release in the DGS bulletin series. Information about this project can be found at: http://www.dgs.udel.edu/projects/evaluation-rapid-infiltration-basin-systems-ribs

Presentation on RIBS at Fall 2012 AGU meeting

A poster "Modeling Engineered Approaches to Enhance Denitrification under Rapid Infiltration Basins" resulting from a collaborative research project between Paul Imhoff, Maryam Akhavan (UD Civil&Environmental Engineering), A. Scott Andres (DGS), and Stefan Finsterle (Lawrence Berkley National Lab) was presented at the Fall 2012 AGU meeting in San Francisco, CA on Dec. 3.

“Application of a Coupled Overland Flow–Vadose Zone Model to Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems”

Maryam Akhvan

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering/DGS/Water Resources Center Research Fellow Maryam Akhavan authors paper on Rapid Infiltration Basins.

Land application of wastewater in Delaware - Results of research on RIBS, spray irrigation, and reuse

Scott Andres of Delaware Geological Survey did a presentation titled "Land application of wastewater in Delaware - Results of research on RIBS, spray irrigation, and reuse" at Delaware Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association annual conference, Oct 11, Dover DE.

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Source Water Assessment and Protection Program

Two Delaware Geological Survey staff members attended the Source Water Assessment and Protection Program meeting held Sept. 14 in Dover, Del. Scott Andres made a presentation titled "Results of Field and Lab Experiments on High Rate Land Application of Wastewater" and John Callahan made a presentation titled "Web-Delivered Application for Hydrogeologic Data."

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Scott Andres participated in the 2011 NGWA Summit in Baltimore, MD

Scott Andres of the Delaware Geological Survey and Holly Michael, assistant professor of geological sciences, participated in 2011 National Ground Water Association (NGWA) Groundwater Summit and were co-organizers of the session titled "Submarine Discharge of Groundwater and Nutrients into Estuaries and Oceans," May 3, Baltimore.

Scott Andres made a presentation at the Center for the Inland Bays

Scott Andres of the Delaware Geological Survey made a presentation titled "Results of Field and Lab Experiments on High Rate Land Application of Wastewater -- RIBS -- Update on Current Research," at the Center for the Inland Bays, Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, May 6, Lewes, Del.

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Sewage disposal battle shapes up - Citizen groups warn of threat to Inland Bays

This news story discusses RIBS project.

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Presentation on assessing suitability of land for rapid infiltration basin systems

Scott Andres and Edward Walther, of the Delaware Geological Survey, presented "Development and Application of a GIS Screening Tool for Assessing Suitability of Land for Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems" at the National Ground Water Association Summit, Denver, April 12-15. Andres also participated in a panel discussion co-sponsored by the U.S. Subcommittee on Groundwater, "National Groundwater Monitoring Network: Listening Session."

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Presentation on land application of waste water

Scott Andres of the Delaware Geological Survey presented “Land application of wastewater” and participated in a panel discussion of land use effects on water resources at a forum sponsored by the Sussex County League of Women Voters in Georgetown, Del., Jan 13.
Also, Andres presented “Groundwater Resources and Ag Water Use in Delaware” at the irrigation session during Delaware Ag Week in Harrington, Del., Jan 20.

Andres presented at the Delaware Rural Water Association and Delaware Clean Water Advisory Council

A. Scott Andres, Delaware Geological Survey, presented “Agricultural Water Use in Delaware” and “Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems Research Introduction” at the Delaware Rural Water Association and Delaware Clean Water Advisory Council, Nov. 18, Milford, Del.

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Evaluation of Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems (RIBS)

Diagram of a Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems (RIBS)
Project Contact(s):

This study has evaluated pre-treatment and physical and geochemical components of rapid infiltration basin systems (RIBS). The project was begun in 2008 with an evaluation of performance of treatment plants associated with RIBS in Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and New Jersey. Field and simulation evaluations of a RIBS located at Cape Henlopen State Park were completed in 2011. Simulation studies of infiltration and nitrogen cycling in the vadose zone were completed in early 2013. Multiple conference presentations, reports, and articles are now being released.

Rapid infiltration basin systems -- research introduction

A. Scott Andres, senior scientist with the Delaware Geological Survey, presented "Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems -- Research Introduction" to the Delaware Clean Water Advisory Council on June 24 in Dover, Del.