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ASSESSMENT-OF-GROUNDWATER-CONTAMINATION

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									ASSESSMENT OF GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION
  VULNERABILITY IN THE VICINITY OF ABQAIQ
         LANDFILL—A GIS APPROACH



                  (Second draft)




                        By


                Salman Al-Khaldi
                   ID # 230283




                       For


           CRP 514: Introduction to GIS
               Term 051 – 12th Offer




                Course Instructor:
              Dr. Baqer Al-Ramadan




              Date: January 01, 2006
                                   ABSTRACT



       ASSESSMENT OF GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION
           VULNERABILITY IN THE VICINITY OF ABQAIQ
                      LANDFILL—A GIS APPROACH



Abqaiq sanitary landfill is located in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia in Abqaiq
city. The landfill is above one of the principle shallow aquifers in the region i.e.
The Neogene formation. Protecting our water resources is of paramount
importance thus assessing the groundwater contamination in the vicinity of the
landfill is part of the planning and management program. This study should
contribute to the program by detecting any contamination, if any, early in time for
decision makers to take necessary remedial actions to solve the problem if exists.
Analytical data will be compiled using GIS to produce a map depicting the
potential for groundwater contamination from Abqaiq landfill. Initial analytical
data of groundwater samples show elevated levels of Total Dissolved Solids
(TDS), sulfates and organic matter. In this paper I will present the initial work of
an ongoing project of monitoring shallow groundwater around Abqaiq landfill.




                                         2
                                           TABLE OF CONTENTS



Abstract..................................................................................................................................2

Table of Contents ................................................................................................................3

List Of Figures .....................................................................................................................4

1. Introduction ...................................................................................................................5

2. Objective .......................................................................................................................7

3. Literature Review ..........................................................................................................7

4. Study Area ......................................................................................................................8

5. Methodology of study ..................................................................................................9

6. Study Limitations ....................................................................................................... 10

7. Discussion And Analysis .......................................................................................... 10

8. Summary And Conclusion ....................................................................................... 11

9. Recommendations ..................................................................................................... 11

Reference ............................................................................................................................ 12




                                                                    3
                       LIST OF FIGURES



Figure 1 Map showing Abqaiq area and Abqaiq Landfill ...........................................8

Figure 2 Abqaiq Landfill 2004 TDS Concentrations................................................. 11




                                               4
1. INTRODUCTION



Since it constitutes the country's major source of water, groundwater has always been a scarce
and extremely valuable resource in Saudi Arabia. Urban life, industry and, above all, agriculture
consume far more water than traditional life in the deserts and towns ever required, and the
country has utilized its water resources in diverse ways to support its development. As a result of
agricultural, urban and industrial growth, the country's demand for water has been increasing
steadily where irrigation consumes the largest amount of water in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is
located in an arid region where the rainfall is sparse with an average annual precipitation of
approximately 100 mm and high evaporation rates (Ministry of agriculture and Water, 1984). As
a result, groundwater replenishment rates are very mostly very low to none. The volume and
quality of groundwater must therefore be protected and efficiently managed. It is better to
prevent or reduce the risk of groundwater contamination than to deal with its consequences.
Continuous monitoring and evaluation of contaminants’ extents, if present, must be part of our
effective planning and management strategies to conserve our scarce non-renewable groundwater
resources.


Sources of groundwater contamination are extensive and include for instance accidental spells,
landfills, underground storage tanks, radioactive waste disposal sites (Bedient et al., 1999).
Landfilling involves the placement and burial of waste in the ground, and was developed based
on the principle that by dispersing the waste and allowing it to reside the in the ground, natural
processes would make the waste harmless (Gourlay, 1992). Because it is the simplest, cheapest,
and most cost effective method of waste disposal, Landfills have became critical to most waste
management strategies (Allen, 2001). However landfill leachate, that is the liquid generated at
the bottom of the landfill, is considered one of the most potentially significant sources of
groundwater pollution for waters that could be used for domestic water supply purposes (Lee,
1993). All landfills, no matter how well they were engineered, will eventually fail and leak
leachate into groundwater (Lee and Jones-Lee, 2004). Failure of liners and/or leakage of the
leachate collection systems are the primary causes of leachate seepage and infiltration into the
groundwater (Lee and Jones-Lee, 1994).

                                                5
The municipal solid waste generated in Saudi Arabia has been found to be in the range of 1.61–
2.72 kg per capita per day and the composition data of the waste disposed indicate a high
percentage of glass, metals, and wood (Khan et al, 1987). There are two methods of waste
disposal open dumping and sanitary Landfilling. Open Dumping is the disposal of wastes in open
areas which are not designed for waste disposal. On the other hand, sanitary landfill is an
engineered method of disposing of solid waste on land in a manner that protects the environment,
by spreading the waste in thin layers, compacting it to the smallest practical volume and covering
it with compacted soil by the end of each working day or at more frequent intervals if necessary
(Hejazi, 1989). Both types of disposal i.e. open dumping and sanitary landfilling have shown
different degrees of contamination to groundwater resources. In an attempt to protect our
valuable groundwater resources from leachate contamination generated by landfills, an
assessment of the groundwater contamination in the vicinity of Abqaiq landfill in eastern
province in Saudi Arabia is to be conducted.


To accomplish this task, available analytical data of the underlying groundwater will be entered
into Arcview GIS software to classify pollution vulnerability using Theissen polygons of the
study area. GIS is an excellent tool for capturing, storing, querying, analyzing, displaying and
outputting maps. With the help of GIS, the individual contaminants and sources of
contaminations will be identified and available remedial approaches can be employed to
contaminated groundwater in an effort to better plan and manage our scarce resource by the
decision makers.




                                                6
2. OBJECTIVE

The following are the objectives of groundwater contamination assessment in the vicinity of Abqaiq
landfill:
           Collection and analysis of groundwater samples for the presence of pollutants if present.
           Using GIS to evaluate the extant of contamination, if present, by creating contour maps.
           Suggesting remedial approaches available in a cost-effective and efficient way.



3. LITERATURE REVIEW

The landfilling process allows many opportunities for using a GIS, from selecting the best site, to
monitoring contaminants plumes. GIS was used to determine the optimum density of waste stored
in a landfill. Also it was used after the closure of the landfill site to monitor the post closure
settlement. Basak integrated GIS with system simulation models (SSM), to develop a methodology
and a landfill design component selection matrix which enable the determination of landfill design
components providing the desired performance with minimal design details. GIS and SSM were
used in this study to handle the site-specific data and to evaluate the landfill performance,
respectively (Basak et al, 2005). In 1997, GIS data were used to support the investigation and
analysis of the groundwater contamination of the South Well Field, a significant groundwater supply
source for the city of South Bend, Indiana (Peterson, 1998). Furthermore GIS has been used to
assess the vulnerability of groundwater to pollution in Kanye well field in SE Botswana. Soil types,
mapped geology and information from 82 boreholes were input into a GIS system to classify
pollution vulnerability using Theissen polygons of the study area (Alemaw et al, 2004).


A spatially extensive, time variable, multi parameter dataset of high-resolution geophysical survey
integrated within GIS was conducted to map the spatial extent, concentrations, and depth of the
groundwater leachate plume, to evaluate the primary sources contributing to pollution of Kearny
Marsh wetland, New Jersey and to assess the seasonal and the hydrological controls on pollutant
fluxes (Mansoor, 2004). The Illinois State Geological Survey is conducting a study to map and model
the geology of Carroll County, Illinois to assist county officials as they address landfill development
issues. Information from the model was compiled using the GIS to produce a map depicting the
                                                      7
potential for groundwater contamination from future landfill development (McGarry, 1996). GIS
has been used and still in use in many organizations e.g. US Environmental Protection Agency for
managing environmental issues due to its versatile applications where decision making is made easier
with the help of GIS.



4. STUDY AREA

Abqaiq city is located in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia (Figure.1). The area is underlain by
four principle aquifers: the Neogene formation, the Alat, the Khobar aquifer (members of the
Dammam Formation) and the confined Umm Er Radhuma (UER) Formation. The area’s shallow
groundwater is saline with Total Dissolved Solids in the range of 2,500 mg/L to 6,000 mg/L which
is not suitable for human consumption (EPD, 1996).


Abqaiq Landfill is located approximately five kilometers south of Abqaiq city. It was built in 1994
as a trench type sanitary landfill. The landfill is segregated into three sections. The Solid and
construction section, the domestic waste section and the sludge disposal section. The facility is used
by Saudi ARAMCO and the local municipality. There are three monitoring wells (Abqaiq Landfill-1
(ABLF-1), Abqaiq Landfill-2 (ABLF-2) and Abqaiq Landfill-3 (ABLF-3)) installed in the area which
are sampled annually since 1994 (Figure.1).




   Figure.1 Map showing Abqaiq area, Abqaiq Landfill and location of the monitoring wells. (EPD, 1996)
                                                    8
5. METHODOLOGY OF STUDY

The study went through different stages and each stage involved hard work and time spent in the
field and in the lab to achieve the above mentioned objectives of the study, where different
methodologies and techniques were employed:


   I. Field Work
       In order to properly evaluate the impact of disposed wastes on the groundwater, the sources,
       volume of the wastes, characteristics of the landfill, and disposal methods of the wastes
       identified. Also site characteristics were obtained from existing well information,
       groundwater level measurements, field survey, and reports.


  II. Laboratory Work
       Saudi Aramco/Environmental Protection Division/Land and Groundwater Protection Unit
       staff goes to the field on annual basis since 1994 to collect groundwater samples from
       Abqaiq landfill monitoring wells. The samples are then delivered to the Lab where we
       analyzed them to determine their composition and identify the presence of contaminants. All
       lab work was carried out as per ASTM and Standard Methods Procedures. Once Analytical
       data available, they are tabulated and compared against Saudi Aramco and USEPA
       groundwater specifications for better evaluation of the presence of contaminants.


 III. Contouring and Modeling
       GIS is then utilized for displaying the collected data on a map to enhance the process of
       contaminant evaluation. Also other soft wares are used e.g. Groundwater Modeling
       System/Mass Transport 3D to creating contaminant transport model of the study area.


  IV. Remedial Approaches
       After compiling and mapping the analytical data with the support of the GIS and mass
       transport model, the best available remedial approaches will be suggested to reach a cost-
       effective and efficient approach to remediate the contamination at the site if present.



                                                  9
                6. STUDY LIMITATIONS

                The ability to address environmental problems is complicated by scarcity of information. Consequently
                researchers encounter constraints in the course of their studies. The obstacles I faced in this study are:

                     I. Finding and accessing suitable data. Data are the most important part of any scientific
                           study but if there are no data or minimum amount of data available then the issue becomes
                           even more complicated by scarcity of information. In other occasions the data are available
                           however obtaining them is really a hassle in a world that treats data as confidential assets.

                    II. Lack of training on GIS to exploit it’s potentials to it’s full. Sometimes difficulties arise
                           from the stage of analysis of data provided the data are available and accessible. Expertise in
                 APWT-22

                           the application of GIS is essential in the field of display and analysis.

                7. DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
                         Abqaiq Plants                                                                                                                                   A



                                                                                                          GOSP 6

                GIS facilitated the process of producing maps where different contaminants displayed in varying        ABG6-1
                                                                           APWT-17                                        ABG6-2
                                                                                                                       ABG6-3

                degrees of colors. It is obvious from the produced map in Figure.2 of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
                                                  APWT-18




                                              and ABLF-2 of 4,675 and 5,073 mg/L respectively are exceeding
                that concentrations at ABLF-1 0       1000m                                     APWT-12
                                                    Scale                                                                                                   APWT-13


                Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) proposed concentration limits for saline
                                                                                                     APWT-30




                groundwater (i.e., 2,000 mg/L). In addition, the sulfate concentrations of 1,200 mg/L and 1,400
                    Southwest Basin                                                                                                               APWT-11
                                      APWT-32

                mg/L in the same wells exceed the Saudi Aramco Sanitary Code maximum concentration limit (400
                                                                                                                                                                      Form

                mg/L). Historically, TOC concentrations at each well are slightly elevated, suggesting the presence                                                   RDD

                                                                                          Lake Abqaiq                                                                  Site


                of hydrocarbons in the groundwater. Concentrations of trace elements are within Saudi Aramco and
                PME standards.             tds04_ int erp
                                                     200 00.0


                                                     175 00.0
                                                                                     APWT-1
                                                     150 00.0

            GOSP 5                                   125 00.0


                                                     100 00.0

ABG5-29
      ABG5-28                                        750 0.0
                                                                                                Abqaiq LF
                                                     500 0.0


                                                     250 0.0



                                                                                                                       0                 1000 m
                                           LEGEND:
                                                                                                               Scale
                                                APWT-22   GCMP Monitoring Well

                                                                                       ABLF-2
                                                          Water Level Contour
                                                                                                      Abqaiq LF: TDS and Flow Contours




                                                Figure 2 Abqaiq Landfill 2004 TDS Concentrations
                                                                                          10
8. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION


High water demand in Saudi Arabia accompanied with resources scarcity deem for efficient and
effective resources management. Contamination of non-renewable water resources such as
groundwater is a critical issue on all levels of the country thus all efforts must collaborate to protect
this resource. Treating the contamination is difficult and expensive. Based on available data and maps
produced, there is a low degree of contamination of the groundwater underlying Abqaiq landfill. The
water quality around the landfill will be monitored as per the program on a yearly basis. There are
many technologies available in the market to track water quality changes and GIS has proven to be one
of the best technologies.

9. RECOMMENDATIONS


As stated previously, more collaboration from different organizations is essential for such a study. In
order to have an effective monitoring program, information concerning the study area should be
available and accessible to researchers. Since this study is an on-going project, other landfills in Saudi
Arabia must be included into the database to extend the monitoring program to cover a wider area. By
doing so, this type of contamination source to groundwater i.e. landfills can be monitored and
controlled.




                                                   11
10. REFERENCES


Allen, A. (2001). ―Containment Landfills: The myth of Sustainability‖. Engineering Geology 60
(2001):3-19.


Basak Tarhan, Kahraman Unlu (2005). ―Performance-based landfill design: development of a design
component selection matrix using GIS and system simulation models‖. Environment Geology (2005)
DOI 10.1007/s00254-005-0073-4


Bedient, P. B., Rifai, H. S, and Newell, C. J. (1999). ―Ground Water Contamination, Transport and
Remediation”. USA, Prentice-Hall, 2nd Ed.

B.F. Alemaw, E.M. Shemang, T.R. Chaoka (2004). ―Assessment of groundwater pollution
Vulnerability and modelling of the Kanye Wellfield in SE Botswana—a GIS approach‖. Physics and
Chemistry of the Earth 29 (2004) 1125–112

Environmental Protection Department, Saudi ARAMCO, ―Abqaiq Area Groundwater
investigation‖, 1996.

Gourlay, K.A. (1992). World of Waste: Dilemmas of Industrial Development. Zed Books: London.

Khan, H.U., Husain, T. and Khan, S. H. (1978). “Solid Waste Management Practices in the Eastern
Province of Saudi Arabia”. Environmental Management, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp 729—734.


Hejazi, R. F. (1989). “Investigation of Leachate from a Sanitary Landfill in Saudi Arabia”.
Unpublished, MS Thesis, KFUPM. 99 pp.

Lee, G. F. and Jones-Lee, A.. (1993) "Groundwater Quality Protection: A Suggested Approach for
Water Utilities" Report to the CA/NV AWWA Section Source Water Quality Committee,
8pp, August (1993).

Lee, G. F. and Jones-Lee, A.. (1994). ―Impact of Municipal and Industrial Non-Hazardous Waste
Landfills on Public Health and the Environment: An Overview”. Prepared for California
Environmental Protection Agency's Comparative Risk Project, May (1994).
Lee, G.F. and Jones-Lee A. (2004). ―Flawed Technology of Subtitle D Landfilling of Municipal Solid
Waste”. Report of G. Fred Lee & Associates, El Macero, CA.

Mansoor, Nasser M. and Lee D. Slater (2004). ―Integrating high-resolution geophysical technologies
within a GIS-based Decision Support System (DSS) into Kearny Marsh wetland, New Jersey”
http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~geology/Grad%20students/Mansoor/Mansoor-
Projects.html

McGarry Christopher S. (1996) ―Geologic Modeling for Landfill Screening: Integrating GIS with
Geospatial Modeling‖. A paper presented at the National Center for geographic Information
and Analysis conference on Integrating GIS and Environmental Modeling (January 21-24,
1996, Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Ministry of agriculture and Water (1984), Water Atlas of Saudi Arabia.

Peterson Michael P. (1998), ―GIS support to investigation of groundwater contamination‖.
http://maps.unomaha.edu/Peterson/gis/Final_Projects/1998/Guy/final.html

Environmental Protection Department, EPD, (1996) ―Abqaiq Area Groundwater Investigation,
Phase II‖., Saudi ARAMCO, Saudi Arabia, (TSI 31-048) SAER No. 5545

INTERNET WEBSITES

    1. THE GROUNDWATER FOUNDATION.
        ―http://www.groundwater.org/gi/sourcesofgwcontam.html‖
    2. U. S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ―http://www.epa.gov/‖
    3. EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENT INFORMATION AND OBSERVATION NETWORK
        (EIONET) ―http://www.eionet.eu.int/‖

								
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