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Artificial Aquifer Facility

Artificial Aquifer Facility
The artificial aquifer facility (or physical sandbox model) is used to conduct laboratory large scale infiltration and tracer tests to determine the soil:
  • Infiltration rate
  • Contaminants retention and/or degradation capacity
This facility can be used to simulate different situations such as:
  • Soil-Aquifer Treatment (SAT) in a Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) basin
  • Risk of contaminants leaching from a spill
  • Reactive barriers for groundwater rehabilitation
  • Contaminants release from a contaminated porous material
The facility is approx. 3.5 m long, 1 m wide and 2 m high and can be filled with the porous medium (soil) to be studied. It can be divided up to three different compartments to perform simultaneous experiments. Both saturated and non-saturated conditions can be simulated.

The facility is equipped with three piezometers, Teflon cups and monitoring devices such as multiparametric probes (level, pH, temperature, electrical conductivity and redox) to assess flow and transport.

A complementary soil-column experiments apparatus is equipped to study the risk of pollutant leaching through soils and other materials using (1) batch experiments to assess the maximum concentrations of release in equilibrium conditions and (2) soil-columns facilities to quantify the movement of water and contaminants in dynamic conditions. Several other complementary tests can be performed to soil samples, like: humidity, density, porosity, and granulometry.