Further description:-  Planning 

Glossary Entry

Planning Overview

Planning Overview




Well planned field investigations for assessing soil and ground-water quality or contamination reduce cost and yield better results than investigations which use  a "one size fits all" approach. The scale of investigation can be regional, local or site specific. The project planning process involves several steps and can be regarded as an iterative process. Key steps in the planning process are to document short- and long-term project objectives and to identify if additional data are needed. Further steps are required to satisfy the project objectives, to identify the appropriate sampling and analysis methods and to finalize the data collection programm.


1. Investigation Objectives


A clear definition of objectives is the first step in effective planning. Such objectives could include e.g. the collection of baseline data, the identification and localisation of potential contaminants or the definition of areas which should be protected. The clear statement of the investigation program's objectives must precede decisions concerning sampling location, piezometer, well types, numbers, location, depth, methods of sample collection storage transport and analysis (Boulding & Ginn 2004).


2. Developing of a Work Plan


Workplan investigations are always site specific. Unlike the project goals wich are fixed the work plan needs to be flexible, e.g. the position of boreholes should be adjusted on the basis of information obtained as each hole is completed. Dynamic workplans rely in part on an adaptive sampling and analysis strategy. The selection of field analytical methods is critically dependent on the need to make decisions in the field rapidly. In this planning phase it is also important to develop a decision making framework. Adaptive sampling and analysis programs change as the conceptual model for the site is refined based on the analytical results produced in the field.


3. Literature


Boulding, J.R., Ginn, J.S. (2004): Practical Handbook of Soil, Vadose Zone, and Ground-Water Contamination, Assessment, Prevention, and Remediation, 2.ed., Lewis Publishers.


US Army Corps of Enginees (1998): Technical Project Planning (TPP) Process. Engineer Manual. EM 200-1-2



Robbat, A. : A Guideline for Dynamic Workplans and Field Analytics: The Keys to Cost-Effective Site Characterization and Cleanup



US EPA (1991): Protecting Local Ground-Water Supplies Through Wellhead Protection, EPA Document 570/9-91-007





Stefan Gödeke
Universität Tübingen, Germany

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