The OPTically based In situ Characterization System (OPTICS) is improving how water quality is monitored at aquatic sites. A uniquely powerful and cost-effective tool for monitoring contaminants in surface water, OPTICS is used for a wide array of environmental applications, from source identification to monitoring of remedy performance, dredge plumes, and stormwater discharges.
OPTICS uses a range of optical instruments to provide high-frequency determination of dissolved and particulate concentrations of contaminants over extended time periods. The unprecedented frequency and volume of data attained by OPTICS supports the development and refinement of conceptual site models to obtain a complete understanding of water quality and contaminant transport in response to natural processes and human impacts.
- Cost-effective, high-frequency chemical concentration determination
- Detailed chemical concentration trends and flux analyses
- Customizable and modular with capability for real-time telemetry
- Key line of evidence for designing and evaluating remedies
Because OPTICS monitoring involves deployment of autonomous sampling instrumentation, a substantially greater volume of data can be collected by this technique than by traditional sampling and at a far lower cost. A large volume of data supports evaluation of hydrophobic contaminant concentrations over a range of spatial and temporal scales, and the system can be customized for a variety of environmental applications.
OPTICS supports analysis of contaminant concentration trends over a range of spatial and temporal scales. With OPTICS, the short- and long-term effects of natural and human-influenced processes, such as storm runoff, tidal surge events, discharges, or dredging, can be more confidently evaluated than with traditional data collection methods.
When coupled with measurements of surface water flow, OPTICS helps quantify contaminant mass flux and the relative contribution of local transport and source areas to net contaminant transport. The improved understanding of site processes aids in the development of mitigation measures that minimize site risks.
OPTICS uses well-established, robust instruments that are readily available, modular, and deployable across varied configurations (e.g., bottom-mounted, mid-water column, or vessel-mounted). The instruments can be powered internally, are easily serviced, and can be equipped with telemetry to support real-time data collection. The many instrument options available provide optimal data collection and reduced cost.
Remedy Design and Evaluation
OPTICS delivers a strong line of evidence for evaluating contaminant sources, fate, and transport, and for supporting the design of a remedy tailored to address site-specific, risk-driving conditions. OPTICS is a powerful tool for monitoring water column residuals during remedy implementation and for monitoring remedy performance.
FEATURED STAFF MEMBER
Craig A. Jones, Ph.D.
Dr. Craig Jones is a principal ocean and environmental engineer with 20 years of experience in developing and executing engineering and science projects for government agencies and the private sector to characterize offshore environmental sites. His experience includes riverine, lacustrine, estuarine, and coastal processes involving hydrodynamics, waves, sediment, and contaminant transport.
related case studies
recent news and articles
PFAS—per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—are a class of man-made chemicals not naturally found in the environment. With the adoption of remediation standards for select PFAS compounds, licensed site remediation professionals (LSRPs) and other environmental...
Integral Consulting Inc. (Integral) has ranked as a top 5 candidate in an international competition to find innovative solutions for West Africa’s coastal erosion problems. Integral led a consortium of six companies as a finalist in a competition hosted by the World...
Blair Paulik Presents on Risk Communication and COVID-19 at the Akademie Fresenius ECOTOX Conference
Do you understand the risks of COVID-19? In an age of clashing information and politicized science, clear and direct communication is essential. On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, Blair Paulik, Ph.D., of Integral Consulting, will present “Risk Communication during the...