Groundwater Contamination and Remediation

Contaminants can have natural sources (e.g., arsenic or salinity) or anthropogenic sources (e.g., industrial chemicals, pesticides, or sewage effluent). Remediation activities include passive methods (e.g., monitored natural attenuation), ex-situ methods (e.g., pump-and-treat), or in-situ
methods (e.g., bioremediation or chemical oxidation).

The aim of this Special Issue of Water is to present new research contributions in groundwater contamination and remediation. This topic includes studies that eludicate critical processes controlling contaminant sources, transport, and fate in the subsurface environment, methods to
identify the concentration and extent of contaminant plumes, as well as novel approaches to predict and enhance the performance of remediation techniques. We encourage contributions on natural and anthropogenic contaminants, as well as emerging contaminants, such as manufactured nanoparticles or hydraulic fracturing fluids. The breadth of cutting-edge
research addressing these topics is substantial, so this Special Issue will not be able to include studies specifically focused on evaluating the human health impacts of contaminants...

Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice


With contributions from CGWA Members Andy Horn and David Lipson

NGWA recently published Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice, a guidance document on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Association published the PFAS guidance document to assist members and other groundwater professionals who may be tasked with investigating the transport pathways and extent of PFAS in groundwater and surface water, assessing potential risks to receptors, or designing and constructing engineering controls to manage subsurface PFAS contamination. 

The main purpose of the document is to summarize the current state of knowledge and practice regarding PFAS fate, transport, remediation, and treatment—recognizing knowledge in this field is advancing. It also aims to summarize current technologies, methods, and field procedures being used to characterize sites and test remediation and treatment technologies.

The text is focused on characterization and treatment of PFAS in groundwater and soil. However, other media may need to be considered when conducting due diligence and all appropriate inquiries at potentially impacted properties.

This document is organized into eight sections. It was written so each section could stand alone from the others, if desired:

  • Section 1 gives an overview of the problem and summarizes the key takeaways. (Free preview available here)
  • Section 2 provides a glossary of key PFAS-related terminology.
  • Section 3 summarizes the chemistry and known human health and ecological impacts of PFAS.
  • Section 4 discusses PFAS fate and transport in the environment.
  • Section 5 discusses PFAS-specific field sampling technologies, methods, and procedures.
  • Section 6 discusses the legal and regulatory status of PFAS in the United States.
  • Section 7 discusses PFAS risk communication challenges and solutions.
  • Section 8 discusses PFAS remediation and treatment options.

NGWA members may log in and download a complimentary version of this document. The cost is $53 for nonmembers.
A print version is also available for purchase in the online bookstore with NGWA members receiving a discount.

Upper Pierre Aquifer Publication


CDWR has published Water Resources Investigation WRI 2017-1a, The Upper Pierre Aquifer of the Cheyenne Basin, Northeastern Colorado, Geologic Cross Sections.

A brief summary of the report is below:

WRI 2017-1a

Th Upper Pierre Aquifer of the Cheyenne Basin,
Northeastern Colorado, Geologic Cross Sections

By Ralf Topper, Clinton D. Meyer, Marshall Haworth, Kevin C. Donegan,
Hillary Banks, Aaron Bandler, Andrew Flor, and Matthew A. Sares

First of a two-part hydrogeologic study of the Upper Pierre aquifer within the Cheyenne Basin of northeastern Colorado consisting of a short text report with 11 plates. This report (WRI 2017-1a) is a compilation of ten regional geologic cross sections created from interpretation of geophysical logs from 200 oil and gas wells. The cross sections depict the following geologic/hydrogeologic intervals: South Platte River alluvial aquifer, Ogallala Formation, White River Formation, Laramie Formation, Fox Hills Sandstone, Upper Pierre Shale upper confining layer, Upper Pierre aquifer, Pierre Ash, Upper Pierre Shale lower confining layer.

The text, maps and cross sections can be downloaded from the DWR Homepage in the “New!" section in the middle of the page.

Final Report - Addressing Changes in Groundwater Resources: Lessons from the High Plains Aquifer


The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce the publication of the final report and videos of the presentations from the 2016 Critical Issues Forum, “Addressing Changes in Regional Groundwater Resources: Lessons from the High Plains Aquifer.” This forum brought together a wide range of scientists, economists, water managers, policy experts, students, water industry professionals, and representatives from federal, state, and local agencies and organizations, to share perspectives on groundwater management, monitoring, and use in the High Plains and further afield.

You can download a free copy of the final report at

Videos of the presentations are available at

If you have any questions or comments, please contact AGI’s Critical Issues Program at