Hello friends! Since most of you liked my "Fluxology" report last year, I felt compelled to write one for 1997 describing my testing adventures. And what a year 1997 was too! The good news was that all of the field work was interesting and the people I worked with were great. 1997 brought subsurface (downhole) flux chamber testing, indoor flux chamber testing, hazardous waste testing, and assessments of processes such as wastewater and sludge treatment facilities.

The big field test this year was out at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal facility where testing was conducted supporting a site-wide Air Pathway Analysis (APA). Our goal was to test the air emission potential of buried waste as might be experienced during. Soils were excavated by backhoe in Level B and waste piles were tested, some up to 6 days, collecting emissions potential information (Figure 1).

collecting emissions

These data will help in the development of an interactive predictive model that will assist in engineering design and site restoration over the next 15 years at the RMA.

A high-profile project put me on the 6 o'clock news down in southern California. A groundwater plume migrated under an elementary school property and direct measurement was needed for the exposure assessment. After several hours of interviews by the media, I asked the reporter and cameraman for a photo of them by the chamber. They were happy to provide me with a smile (Figure 2).

reporter and cameraman

This and other similar projects with exposure issues from contaminated groundwater became an AWMA paper (June 98') comparing modeled to measured surface flux from contaminated groundwater. Similarly, several indoor exposure assessments demonstrated the utility of the chamber in these situations (Figure 3). This approach also will be presented at the June AWMA meeting. Toxicologists love direct measurement data for this type of exposure assessment.

indoor exposure assessment

As always, assessment of wastewater treatment facilities using the chamber was very useful, especially for "odor". Figures 4, 5, and 6 show testing on unique surfaces of a secondary clarifier unit process including testing the weir and the collection trough. Flux data are usually higher over the weir, however, the lower flux coupled with the larger surface area of the quiescent surface usually accounts for half or more of the process emissions.

assessment of wastewater treatment facilities

assessment of wastewater treatment facilities

assessment of wastewater treatment facilities

Lastly, we all have had trouble finding where to test at sites: well, perhaps some of us (me) more than others. One site had me totally confused. It was an underground leaking pipeline source and I was to test over the free-floating product plume. I forgot my X-ray vision glasses at home, and as a result, I wasn't sure where to test. I found myself standing in the street, scratching my head, looking at a site map, and trying to figure-out were the impact area was. In my desperation, I gave-up on the map and started looking around. Just then I noticed "spray-can size" writing on the pavement (Figure 7). Gee, no wonder the client told me "Just take the map, go to the general area shown, and look around!"

writing on the pavement

Keep looking for those two new books (Aspects of Air Pollution at Hazardous Waste Sites and Odor Assessment Using the Flux Chamber)! 1997 was very busy and these projects never got off the ground. Never fear, there is always tomorrow. Again, let me know if you can use my help on any projects this year.

Take care friends!

Still alive and kick'n in Dead Bluff