Hydrogeology Comes to the Surface

by Kristine Uhlman, Seior Hydrogeologist; Harza Environmental Services, Inc., 150 South Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606-4288,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 4, Pg. 60-62

Document Type: Feature article


Before concluding whether groundwater is safe or contaminated, engineers must understand the science of hydrogeology. If they don't understand hydrogeology, unnecessary and expensive corrective actions may be performed. An ignorance of hydrogeology can also lead to errors on the other side of the fence, such as unforseen transport routes that lead hazardous wastes to groundwater supplies. Current environmental regulations are also forcing civil engineers to address hydrogeology. Unfortunately, the science of hydrogeology and the engineering of science are two very different animals. Civil engineers are used to measuring and monitoring physical systems that obey mathematical descriptions and respond to engineering analysis. But hydrogeology is a natural science; it demands intuitive leaps in thought and interpretive skills based on experience.

Subject Headings: Hydrogeology | Groundwater pollution | Fences | Routing (transportation) | Traffic safety | Hazardous wastes | Groundwater supply | Animals

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