The quality and sufficiency of the groundwater in South Savo, Finland, has been under inspection for years. Half of the inhabitants of South Savo receives their drinking water from water intake plants whose groundwater catchments are located in risk areas. The risk posed in the groundwater catchment area may be due to, e.g., industry previously located in the area, the current urban structure, or the use of the area.
Groundwater is traditionally monitored by taking a water sample from the groundwater observation standpipe with a pump. The pumping does, however, cause water to mix inside the standpipe making it difficult to obtain information on, e.g., groundwater stratification. In addition, certain organic pollutants may occur in groundwater in concentrations so small that they cannot be detected in a water sample that has been drawn in the traditional way.
The aim of the New Innovative Methods for Groundwater Quality Monitoring – Uumo project was to develop new innovative groundwater sampling and monitoring methods. In addition, a new cost-effective groundwater quality monitoring method was tested in the project.
The project included the following
• An investigation of factors decreasing water quality
• Monitoring groundwater quality by innovative methods
• Groundwater quality measurements using new innovative samplers
• Applicability of online methods in monitoring and analysing groundwater quality
• Using water body remote mapping and ground-penetrating radar in environmental monitoring
• Establishing and monitoring groundwater pilot locations
• Developing business operations for the new methods and making preparations for their commercialisation
• Reporting the results and putting them into use
The new samplers and water quality measuring methods tested during the project provided more information more quickly on the chemical state of groundwater and the changes occurring in it. A new competitive technique was tested to complement the traditional groundwater quality determination conducted with sampling and laboratory analyses. The project increased the environmental safety of water services and the awareness of water treatment plants, public authorities and citizens concerning the possibility of using passive samplers and remote mapping in water quality monitoring.
The Uumo project was funded by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of South Savo from the European Regional Development Fund, Mikkelin Vesilaitos, Rantasalmen kunnan Vesi- ja viemärilaitos and the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.