Illinois Groundwater Association
Fall 1997 News

Volume 13   Number 2
October 1997



This Fall 1997 meeting is a first! It is a joint meeting of the Illinois Groundwater Association and Wisconsin Ground Water Association and will be held November 6, 1997 at The Abbey on Lake Geneva, which is located in Fontana, Wisconsin (near Geneva, Wisconsin) on the west end of beautiful Lake Geneva. TWO featured speakers highlight the program, Mr. Thomas Prickett and Dr. William Simpkins, both of whom have spoken to the Illinois Groundwater Association within the past few years.

The morning’s featured speaker will be Mr. Thomas A. Prickett, President of Thomas A. Prickett & Associates, Inc.  The title of his presentation is Litigation 101 – War Stories of a Groundwater Engineer. He will offer insights on giving expert testimony in court or at a hearing, starting with his background on expert testimony, then going on to cover the basics of the legal approach, and finally relating some of his experiences.  Tom is a very dynamic speaker — you’ll gain a new appreciation for what it means to be an expert witness.

Mr. Prickett has been involved in groundwater for over 35 years.  He has worldwide experience in groundwater research, aquifer evaluation, design and development of well-fields, mining impact analysis, mass transport, computer modeling, and litigation as an expert witness.  He started his career at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) during which he created one of the first ground-water computer models (PLASM) and one of the first mass transport models in the industry (RANDOM WALK).  After leaving the ISWS, Mr. Prickett was Vice President of Camp Dresser and McKee, Inc. in Champaign, Illinois.  In 1981 he started his own firm, Thomas A. Prickett and Associates, Inc., in Urbana, Illinois and has been a groundwater consultant ever since.  He has received numerous awards including the M.K. Hubbert Award from the National Ground Water Association, the C.V. Theis Award from the American Institute of Hydrology, the Henri Darcy Distinguished Lecturer award from the National Ground Water Association for his outstanding work in flow and mass transport modeling, and the Distinguished Alumni award from the Department of General Engineering, University of Illinois.  Mr. Prickett has authored more than 120 publications, articles, and reports.

The afternoon’s featured speaker will be Dr. William Simpkins of Iowa State University.  The title of his presentation is Hydrogeology of Low-Permeability Glacial Sediments in Iowa.  Bill is an entertaining speaker whose research projects typically have a strong applied orientation – you should come away with new insights about groundwater and fine-grained sediments.

Dr. Simpkins is one of the midwest's foremost authorities on what happens to groundwater in glacial till and other fine-grained sediments.  In 1989 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His dissertation and much of his subsequent research has focused on the occurrence, movement, and interaction of groundwater in glacial tills, lake deposits, and other fine-grained sediments.  He has authored more than 48 journal articles and reports and has made over 36 presentations.  His professional activities include membership and committee participation in the Iowa Ground Water Association and the North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America.  He was a co-convener of the Geological Society of America Penrose Conference Fractured Unlithified Aquitards: Origins and Transport Process that was held in June 1994.

A wide variety of topics are going to be covered during the Fall 1997 IGA-WGWA Conference, including agrichemical contaminant distribution, groundwater flow models in northern Wisconsin, and deep aquifer modeling.  There will be something to pique everyone’s interest.

Registration for the Fall 1997 IGA-WGWA meeting begins at 7:30 AM on November 6th.  The program continues from 8:30 AM through 4:00 PM.  The meeting fee for pre-registration is $38. Late registration or registration at the door is $45.  Student registration is $20.  Pre-registration by Wednesday October 29, 1997 is strongly recommended.  Hotel accommodations are available for $79 at The Abbey.  A limited block of rooms have been set aside for the IGA-WGWA conference, so call (414) 275-6811 and make your reservation while you can. Be sure to identify yourself as an IGA or WGWA member for these rates. For information on registration for the IGA-IGWA Fall 1997 Conference call Dan Kelleher, IGA Secretary-Treasurer, at (630) 574-3941 or another IGA board member.
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The IGA Spring Meeting was held at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois on April 1, 1997. It was an excellent conference, featuring an update on TACO and site characterization uncertainty from a research and regulatory perspective. Other presentations included groundwater resource information on the internet, wetland hydrologic characterization, and karst geophysics. The meeting was highlighted by the presentation of the 1997 Groundwater Science Awards.
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This year the IGA was pleased to award three IGA Student Research Grants, which went to Matthew A Barner, Leo Michael Kurylo, and John J. Noyes. The IGA received many fine grant request proposals this year and the competition was tough.

Matthew A. Barner, a B.S. student in geology at Wheaton College, was awarded was $150 for his research projectA Wellhead Protection Study for the Fisherman’s Inn Restaurant Near Elburn, Illinois. This topic is unusual because wellhead protection is not typically considered for springs. The Fisherman’s Inn near Elburn, Illinois uses spring-fed ponds as the means to offer fresh fish all year. The source of groundwater discharging to the ponds is not known. The goals of the project are to: 1) monitor the water quality of the springs, 2) identify the recharge area for the springs, 3) understand the relationship between monthly precipitation and volume of spring discharge, and 4) delineate a wellhead protection area for the springs.

Leo Michael Kurylo, a B.S. student in geology at Northern Illinois University was awarded was $100 for his research project Effects of Fluid Chemistry on Calcite Overgrowth MorphologyThis project is designed to determine if variations in percent overgrowth, crystal growth rate, saturation state, and pH affect the morphology of calcite overgrowth. Overgrowth morphologies do not always cover the crystal faces, which may affect the porosity of rock formations containing CaCO3.

John J. Noyes, M.S. student in earth science at Northeastern Illinois University, was awarded was $200 for his research project Electrokinetically Enhanced DNAPL Removal: Implications for Cleanup of Contaminated SoilsThis project is designed to test if electrokinetics applied in-situ to site soils or bedrock will increase the volume of DNAPLs removed and decrease the time for removal compared to traditional DNAPL remediation techniques.
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By Bill Dixon
The Illinois Professional Geologist program is well underway, and some licenses have already been issued by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (DPR). The "grandfather" period has been extended to July 1, 1998 through emergency legislation.  If you are a qualified geologist who wishes to continue to practice geology in Illinois and you have not yet requested an application form, then you should request one by mail from:

One item of critical information for all geologists and firms employing geologists in Illinois is that the emergency Act passed by the legislature specifies that there will be a period of 180 days after the implementation of the Act during which practicing geologists will be able to continue to practice geology while their applications are being considered.  At the end of the 180 day period, it will be unlawful for a person to practice geology or to hold themselves out to be a professional geologist in Illinois (as defined by the Act) unless s/he holds a license from the Illinois DPR. Geologists employed by a firm may perform geologic work under the direction of a Licensed Professional Geologist in the employ of that firm.

The rules and regulations proposed by the Board are currently in a 45 day review period by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).  After that they will be published in the Illinois Register at which time they become effective. Copies of the Act and the proposed "rules" may be obtained by contacting DPR as indicated above.

DPR has authorized participation in the National Association of Boards of Geologists (ASBOG), and the ASBOG examination will be used to test applicants after the close of the "grandfather" period.

Some guidelines being followed by the Board under the advice of legal counsel for the approval of applicants, in line with the proposed rules and in strict accordance with specific wording of the Act, include: 1) applicants shall have a degree in geology; 2) one year experience will be counted for a graduate degree; 3) one year experience will be counted for full-time teaching of advanced college level geology courses; 4) the forms from current or former employers, or clients of self employed geologists, verifying the applicants work experience should contain references to specific work or projects done by the applicant; and 5) up to 10 semester hours or 15 quarter hours of advanced course work may be substituted if the applicant has 10 years or more experience.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday January 8, 1998 in Chicago. If sufficient new applications are ready for review before that time, an interim meeting may be scheduled.
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The basis of TACO is that risk is at the point of human exposure, because without exposure there is no risk.  It is assumed that the point of human exposure is at the contaminant source. If, however, an institutional control or an engineered barrier is in place, the point of human exposure is moved to the edge of the control.  Institutional Controls are legal mechanisms for imposing restrictions and conditions on land use, and are contained in an IEPA No Further Remediation (NFR) letter. Controls may include:

These controls are necessary when remaining (post remediation) contaminants pose a risk to human health of the environment, and are used when remediation objectives are based on: Institutional Controls are not needed if residential remediation objectives are met. After IEPA approval, the NFR letter with the Institutional Controls must be filed by the site owner with the local county recorder’s office.  Future users of the property will be informed of the conditions of the institutional controls and/or protected from unwitting exposure to environmental risks.

More information on TACO is available from 35 IAC Part 742, Subpart J. This summary was based on the IEPA Fact Sheet 4 issued February 1997.
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The IGA web page has gone through something of an identity crisis.  It's current location, as the 2nd homepage on an ISWS server, prevents our page from showing up with any search engine request.  In addition, the page hasn't been updated on a frequent or regular basis to provide current IGA news.

To address the first concern, the IGA Executive Committee proposes the IGA register our homepage.  This will give us several advantages over the current setup.  First, the homepage will be accessible via web searches.  Second, this would give the IGA a recognized host name which could then be pointed to any one machine on which the IGA pages actually reside.  This obviously has advantages should the IGA homepage move.  Third, by using a more recognizable host name (e.g., the pages will be easier to reach and remember.

Unfortunately, "" and "" are already registered.  Therefore, our web address will have to be different, but as simple as possible.  Registration of the domain name with INTERNIC costs $100 for the first two years and $50 each year thereafter.  The benefits to the members warrant this cost.

To address the second concern, a "webmaster" has been appointed to oversee the IGA homepage.  Randy Locke from the ISWS has graciously agreed to serve in this capacity.  Randy's experiences with the ISWS web committee provide us with a great opportunity to improve our page and to help keep it up-to-date.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please e-mail Dave Larson or Randy Locke.  This will be brought up at the business meeting for resolution.
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The Illinois Groundwater Association is pleased and honored to announce the recipients of the 1997 Groundwater Science Awards.  This year’s awardees in the Research/Scientific Achievement category are Tom Prickett, President of Thomas A. Prickett & Associates and Rick Cobb, Manager of the Groundwater Section, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. This year’s awardees in the Public Information and Education category are Bill Compton, Chair and Pat Welch, Secretary of the Central Planning Region Groundwater Protection Committee. Congratulations!
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Dr. James O. Peterson and Mr. Ronald G. Hennings will be recognized during the luncheon at the fall meeting of the Illinois Groundwater Association being held jointly with the Wisconsin Ground Water Association at The Abbey on Lake Geneva this November 6, 1997.  Dr. Peterson and Mr. Hennings were instrumental in the development of a realistic groundwater flow demonstration model that has proven to be extremely valuable in teaching the principles of groundwater flow to students, academic groups, and the public.  The addition of piezometers, lakes, and wells make the models easy to use for demonstrating groundwater flow and the effects of pumping wells, the interaction between surface water and groundwater, and the influence of sites of contamination on groundwater quality.
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Cooperative Groundwater Report 18, Geologic, Geophysical, and Hydrologic Investigations for a Supplemental Municipal Groundwater Supply, Danville, Illinois, co-authored by Dave Larson and John Kempton (ISGS) and Scott Meyer (ISWS) was released for distribution recently.  The report presents the results of investigations into the availability of groundwater in the Danville-Lake Vermilion area.  It is available from the Illinois State Geological Survey.

Danville's water supply, which is drawn from Lake Vermilion, periodically exceeds the maximum contaminant level for nitrate (as nitrogen) of 10 mg/L.  One possible solution to this problem is to use groundwater to dilute the high nitrate level of the surface water.  The investigations of the availability of groundwater in the Danville-Lake Vermilion area were completed using geophysical surveys, test drilling, and aquifer tests conducted in the area during the late 1970s and again in the late 1980s by the Illinois State Geological Survey and the Illinois State Water Survey.  The results showed that adding another high-capacity well to the aquifer in the Lake Vermilion-north Danville area would most likely cause adverse impacts on the water levels in existing wells because of the limited extent of the sand and gravel deposits comprising the aquifer.
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by Robert G. Corbett - Illinois State University
Sixty nine persons participated in a Presidential Conference on Ethics and the Geosciences, convened by David Stephenson, Past President of the Geological Society of America.  The meeting was co-sponsored by GSA, AIPG, USGS, AGI, and NSF. The group, including philosophers, ethicists, attorneys, representatives from the AAAS and NAS, as well as many geoscientists, met in the shadow of Mt. Hood for six days in mid July, 1997.

In the first full day, keynote speakers presented overviews of the history and teaching of ethics and what other professions had agreed upon as codes of conduct, the spiritual foundation of ethics, ethical behavior, and conflicting ethical systems.  The next day, issues of ethics in research and teaching, in industry, and within state and federal agencies were reviewed.  The third day was devoted to a review of existing codes of ethics in scientific disciplines, including the geosciences, how they are enforced, and ethical aspects of licensing, certification, and registration.

A strong case was made that the geosciences should have an overarching aspirational code of ethics, one that states ideals toward which we all must strive.  Specialized professional associations should then consider whether to develop educational codes, stating principles and having guidelines peculiar to their circumstances.  Many of the member societies of AGI do not have such a code.  The third possibility, regulatory codes, in which detailed rules of professional conduct, adjudication, and sanctions are spelled out, was not favored for the pragmatic reasons of bureaucracy and cost.

The geosciences, as a profession, have an arcane body of knowledge.  We are defined by the values that we hold, and the virtues that we possess.  The four groups of geoscientists from industry, government, academe, and the public sector worked independently to define our values and virtues.  I was surprised at the consistency and agreement resulting from these independent efforts; a consensus list was produced.  This list may serve as a foundation for development of aspirational and/or other codes.  If you have strong opinions on this effort, you may want to share them with Dave Stephenson, Convenor of the conference.
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Bev Herzog, long-time supporter and past president of the IGA, was recently named Head of the "Blue Group" at the Illinois State Geological Survey.  She is responsible for sections that cover a broad spectrum of geology – from mineral resources, engineering, and economics to engineering geology, environmental site assessments, and analytical geochemistry. Congratulations Bev!
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The Mahomet Bedrock Valley Aquifer System–Knowledge Needs for a Vital Resource was released by the Water Resources Center, University of Illinois as Special Report 21. It was published in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources: Office of Water Resources, State Water Survey, and State Geological Survey.  The report describes the geology and hydrology of the groundwater system as well as the research components that are needed to complete a study of the Mahomet Bedrock Valley Aquifer System.  The study will provide the scientific basis for assessing the availability of groundwater, estimating sustainable yield and the potential for further development, evaluating the effects of existing groundwater use, and classifying the vulnerability of the resource to contamination.

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Last Revision: Oct. 21, 1997