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Land and Waste Management Research

Ground Water Modeling

Small stream running downhill

Contaminants in ground water can make their way into drinking water supplies, surface water and indoor air. EPA is supporting region, state and tribal partners at Superfund sites and brownfields to develop new methods to better characterize, monitor and treat the contamination. Researchers are using computer models and new technologies to better understand and forecast the behavior of contaminants in ground water to develop better means for treatment.

Contributing research:

  • Development of a ground water flow tool as a dominate mechanism for contaminant
  • Assessment of  the state-of-the-science of chlorinated solvents transformation in ground water
  • Development of an advanced ground water transport model for contaminants from multiple sources with potential impacts on multiple drinking water wells or other receptors.  The model includes transformation of organic subsurface contaminants, source zones for non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs), diffusion of contaminants from low permeability layers, and assessment of natural attenuation of contaminants in the subsurface.
  • Field and laboratory research on treatment technologies including permeable reactive barriers, on-site chemical treatment and monitored natural attenuation.

Researchers are also studying vapor intrusion from contaminated ground water into buildings. In order to better understand health risks related to the contaminant vapor, researchers are sampling indoor air, soil, soil gas and vapor movement, and assessing the viability associated with vapor phase transport and biodegradation.


Ground Water Models
Ground Water Technical Support Center
Center for Subsurface Modeling Support (CMOS)
Ground Water Restoration and Protection

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