work underway on a water-discharge structure we designed for poor soil conditions
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groundwater- and surface-water management integrations

groundwater- and surface-water management integrations
client
Washington County
location
Minnesota

award-winning model helps solve questions about water supply and PFAS contamination

When the City of Woodbury proposed to expand its well field, concerns were raised by Washington County and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources about impacts to stream flows in Valley Creek—a designated trout stream. The County partnered with Woodbury, Afton, and watershed management organizations and received a state grant to develop a groundwater-surface-water model of the southern part of the county. Barr was selected to develop the model, organize stakeholder meetings, and provide credibility to the results.

Barr linked the groundwater-flow model MODFLOW with MIKE SHE, a code that simulates the complex processes of infiltration and recharge. This linked model was then used to predict how future increases in water demand would affect groundwater levels in the county and groundwater inflows into Valley Creek.

The linked groundwater-surface-water model continues to be used and updated as new pumping tests are performed. For example, Barr used it to evaluate plume migration of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Lake Elmo and Oakdale. The model won several awards, including the 2006 Minnesota Environmental Initiative Award for Public Sector Innovation and the MSPE 2006 Seven Wonders of Engineering award.

municipal PFAS