After incorporating custom computer coding from David Winchell, WSP senior engineer, Ricker, Goist and Winchell received two additional patents in 2019 for algorithms that Winchell helped develop.
Ricker and Goist, who have worked together as environmental consultants since 2002, had already received a patent for one of the tools in 2016. And since then, the trio have focused on client solutions using the Groundwater Plume Analytics® tools.
“At WSP, we’re meeting with teams all over the world — Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Australia, several European countries — and they’re bringing it to their clients,” Ricker said.
These tools have been applied to several significant projects throughout the past several years at WSP. A West Coast petroleum company used these Groundwater Plume Analytics® services as part of the site management strategy for an active bulk fuel terminal in northern California.
The purpose of this project was to demonstrate remedial progress and reduce long-term spending for the site. When the work was concluded in 2020, the overall services were well received by client management, as well as the regulatory agency.
The Ricker Method Plume Stability Analysis that was implemented at the site was used to verify that the cessation of a costly soil vapor extraction and oxygen injection system was effective; the results of which amounted to more than $100,000 in annual savings. Additionally, the Well Sufficiency Analysis™ helped to achieve more than $80,000 savings in monitoring costs.
The tools have been in use for more than a decade with successful results on more than 1,000 groundwater plumes in the U.S. and in more than five international markets.
“One of the gratifying parts of using these tools is helping clients and regulators better allocate money spent on remediation,” Goist said. “We have seen many sites with energy-intensive remedial approaches that, while cleaning groundwater, they are doing it using energy-intensive methods to do so.”
“With our tools, we have found that many of these sites can actually clean up quicker under natural conditions,” Ricker added. “I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but the tools demonstrate that reality. This allows stakeholders to then apply those dollars saved to other sites that are experiencing much more robust problems.”