A model for managing sources of groundwater pollution


  • Steven M. Gorelick


The waste disposal capacity of a groundwater system can be maximized while maintaining water quality at specified locations by using a groundwater pollutant source management model that is based upon linear programing and numerical simulation. The decision variables of the management model are solute waste disposal rates at various facilities distributed over space. A concentration response matrix is used in the management model to describe transient solute transport and is developed using the U.S. Geological Survey solute transport simulation model. The management model was applied to a complex hypothetical groundwater system. Large-scale management models were formulated as dual linear programing problems to reduce numerical difficulties and computation time. Linear programing problems were solved using a numerically stable, available code. Optimal solutions to problems with successively longer management time horizons indicated that disposal schedules at some sites are relatively independent of the number of disposal periods. Optimal waste disposal schedules exhibited pulsing rather than constant disposal rates. Sensitivity analysis using parametric linear programing showed that a sharp reduction in total waste disposal potential occurs if disposal rates at any site are increased beyond their optimal values.