My research at Virginia Tech focuses primarily in the area of groundwater dynamics and transport. I am currently working with Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) on their Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) project, a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) project.
Managed aquifer recharge was proposed by HRSD to address three separate challenges:
- Groundwater Subsidence: Sustained groundwater withdrawals by municipal and industrial entities since 1970 has resulted in declining potentiometric surface in the region. Due to nature of interbedded confining units, natural recharge of the PAS is insufficient to balance use of groundwater from the PAS. Groundwater withdrawals in Eastern Virginia have resulted in aquifer compaction and land subsidence.
- Saltwater Intrusion: Increased withdrawal rates also increase the potential for saltwater intrusion, which could contaminate drinking water wells near coastlines.
- Nutrient Loads: In 2010, the USEPA finalized the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a restoration plan which established numerical limitations for nutrients entering the Chesapeake Bay, one of Virginia’s prized landmarks. This TMDL includes accountability measures to ensure that the bay achieves the water quality standards intended to restore and protect aquatic life and habitat. As a result, reducing nutrient loads to the bay is also one of Hampton Roads Sanitation District’s (HRSD’s) top priorities.
My work focuses on the impact of recharge through the aquifer, specifically on the distribution of flow through a multi-screen recharge well, the mobilization and transport of constituents in the aquifer, and travel time through the aquifer.
Conference Papers and Presentations
Characterizing Flow Distribution Using a Downhole Flowmeter in a High-Capacity Managed Aquifer Recharge Well
EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, May 2020
Arsenic Fate and Transport: Implications on Managed Aquifer Recharge
WEFTEC, September 2019
Managed Aquifer Recharge: Transport and Attenuation in a Coastal Plain Aquifer
EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, May 2019
Managed Aquifer Recharge: Breakthrough Modeling in a Multiscreen Monitoring Well
Charles E. Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Research Day, March 2019