Environmental Efficiency can conduct hydrogeological assessments for industrial clients. In Ireland, as of 2015, Hydrogeological assessments would typically be required for facilities in two instances:

  1. For facilities that have had technical amendments to their licence (IPC/IED/Waste) requiring that they assess their impacts on groundwater and compliance with the Groundwater Regulations, 2010. Such licensees must demonstrate compliance with the regulations before the 22nd of December 2015.
  2. For facilities that have discharges to ground. The first step is to describe the receiving environment and develop a Conceptual Site Model detailing pollution sources, pollution pathways and sensitive receptors.

This is then followed by a determination of the appropriate tier of hydrogeological assessment required.

  • Tier 1 – Preliminary site assessment (for low risk sites)
  • Tier 2 – Generic Quantitative Risk Assessment (for moderate risk sites)
  • Tier 3 – Detailed Quantitative Risk Assessment (for high risk sites)

A Tier 1 assessment comprises an assessment of past monitoring data, past hydrogeological assessments and publicly available data (e.g. EPA, GSI databases).

A Tier 2 assessment involves the above, in addition to further monitoring and a comparison of monitoring results with Generic Assessment Criteria (e.g. Groundwater limits stipulated as per the Groundwater Regulations, 2010).

A Tier 3 Assessment involves the above, in addition to a comparison of monitoring results with site specific criteria, calculated in accordance with EPA Guidance on the subject (e.g. using the UK CLEA Model). Typically a Tier 3 assessment would require an in-situ intrusive investigation and a 3rd party contractor would typically be procured to carry out such works.

Upon completion of the hydrogeological assessment we can determine whether a client complies with the Groundwater Regulations of 2010 / the Water Framework Directive ‘Prevent or limit’ Objective.
A hydrogeological assessment report will be the final product provided to the client.

This report will either:

  1. Demonstrate compliance with Groundwater Regulations or;
  2. In the case of non-compliance, recommend a remedial strategy to ensure future compliance and possibly a compliance monitoring programme.

The methodology outlined above applies to Irish facilities however Environmental Efficiency are available to conduct hydrogeological assessments in the UK in order to ascertain any potential impact facility discharges may have on receiving groundwater bodies and to demonstrate conformance with UK regulations.