Before remediation technologies, techniques or trials can be initiated, a Conceptual Site Model (CSM), a representation and description of the site’s physical, chemical and biological understanding, must be developed. 

Developing and maintaining a CSM is a natural and logical approach to close data gaps, address uncertainties and ensure that resources expended on remediation are necessary, focused, and provide high value. 

At SNC-Lavalin, our site assessment and remediation team have developed a wide variety of CSMs – from simple, two-dimensional sketches to complex, multi-disciplinary and integrated models, which use the latest modeling technology for computational efficiency. CSMs are scalable, which allows practitioners to plan and budget accordingly, which can be attractive on projects with limited budget. Because the development process is iterative, preparing a CSM becomes another analytical tool for defining the site, comprehending physical properties and addressing site issues. Depending on final closure plans, some CSMs will rely on risk assessment applied in conjunction with remediation.

Developing a CSM is a step-wise approach comprising a desktop review of available data, including the following:

  • Establishing a framework for the site geometry, soils, geology and hydrogeology and understanding how groundwater flows within the CSM and what potential pathways exist;
  • Comprehending the extent of impact from the source;
  • Understanding risks with the intent to protect receptors; and
  • Assessing data gaps as the site is better understood and the CSM is further established.

Often, CSMs are expressed as a figure or series of presentation slides to facilitate communication, whether internally for clients and project teams or for discussions with regulatory authorities, and, if required, with the public. This talk, aimed at remediation practitioners and industry’s environmental program coordinators, will discuss different practical approaches to developing CSMs and provide examples of successful and useful CSMs that have been put into practice.


Sheila Duchek, M.Sc., P.Geo. Senior Hydrogeologist at SNC-Lavalin

Ms. Sheila Duchek is a senior hydrogeologist with nearly 20 years of experience. Ms. Duchek’s current focus is managing and providing senior technical support for groundwater assessment, monitoring, and operational compliance programs. As a lead technical advisor in hydrogeology, Ms. Duchek has reviewed, analyzed and provided recommendations to various clients, with varied groundwater assessment needs. Ms. Duchek is adept at groundwater assessments and working with regulators and the public in addressing concerns with respect to groundwater use and management. 

Ms. Duchek has spearheaded key technical hydrogeology field support teams, provides senior technical support of environmental site assessments for site characterization and liability estimates. She leads water resource exploration programs with large-scale water well drilling and testing components. She is a technical resource for a wide range of water well drilling programs, both local and regional in scale, using a variety of drilling and well completion methods. Ms. Duchek also prepares and advises clients with respect to regulatory filing and applications.

Ms. Duchek has developed, analyzed, reviewed and critiqued several hydrogeological CSMs for sites of varying complexity: from local site-specific CSM’s to large-scale regional scale CSM’s expanding across north-eastern and central Alberta. She has reviewed, analyzed and provided recommendations to energy producers, for establishing baseline groundwater conditions, understanding expected variability in groundwater quality and quantity and identifying where monitoring data triggers a required response. 

To effectively establish scientifically-defensible groundwater monitoring programs, Ms. Duchek’s established approach includes initially outlining a hydrogeological CSM. This is achieved by assessing available data, identifying data gaps and prioritizing monitoring objectives and goals. 

When:  Thursday, February 25, 2021
Time: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm 
Venue: A link to ZOOM will be shared to all registered attendees prior to the session.
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Refund Cut-off Date: Thursday, January 28, 2021


For registration information, please contact Inderjeet Singh

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