Tracing of groundwater (e.g. tracing a municipal water system) is crucial to the understanding and solving many hydrological problems, such as contamination of the ground-water system, by interpreting tracer flow behaviour in groundwater. The main parameters that can be determined are the origin and outflow of water, mixing and flow paths of water within a system, groundwater residence time. These information can help for instance with figuring out how quickly a contaminant can propagate through the water system, the origin of the contamination, and identifying a clear flow pattern of water throughout the system.
Our variety of distinct tracers are required to perform detailed multi-tracer studies in complex groundwater systems, and to eliminate background problems originating from previous tracer tests.
By supporting local groundwater tracing efforts, our technology help protecting the water quality and promoting community health.
Among the trials performed, one has been executed at the Deep Underground Geothermal (DUG) Laboratory located at the Grimsel Test Site, southern Switzerland, where geothermal energy-related investigations are being conducted. Mixtures of different fluorescent dyes and Haelixa tracers were injected into boreholes and samples were collected at different locations. Results were used to build a hydraulic conductivity map of the site. The trial not only proved the technology readiness and field applicability, but also the superiority over competitive tracer dye technologies in terms of:
Resolution - the higher number of distinct tracers than dyes results into increased map resolution and result quality
Sensitivity - 10 - 100x lower detection limit than dyes
Reliability - no background problems generated from tracers injected during previous tests (the tracer "fingerprint” can be renewed each time)