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Introduction to Groundwater Investigations
Hosted by Environmental Response Training Program (ERTP)

This 3-day introductory course is designed to provide participants with information concerning hydrogeological processes and the necessary elements of a sound groundwater site investigation. It is intended for personnel who are involved in groundwater contamination investigations but have little prior hydrogeological experience. This course is not designed for geologists or hydrologists.

Topics that are discussed include hydrogeological definitions and concepts; conceptual site models (CSM) and their role in groundwater investigations; discussion of aquifer types and regional hydrogeology; geophysics; drilling, construction, and placement of monitoring wells; groundwater sampling considerations; groundwater modeling; and vapor intrusion.

Instructional methods include lectures, group discussions, case studies, and class problem- solving exercises.

After completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the components of a groundwater system.
  • List the primary hydrogeological parameters to be considered in a site investigation.
  • Prepare and interpret geologic cross-sections.
  • Construct a groundwater flow net and calculate hydraulic gradient at a site.
  • Understand the sources of site hydrogeologic data and how that data is gathered and interpreted (for example aquifer stress tests). 
  • Discuss common geophysical survey method.
  • Describe monitoring well drilling and construction techniques.

This course is often presented in the same week as the Advanced Groundwater Investigations Course (AGWI), with AGWI presented on the day immediately following completion of the IGWI course.

Continuing Education Units: 2.0


*This course is offered free of charge to all registrants who are confirmed to attend*In compliance with Executive Order 13589 - Promoting Efficient Spending, Section 5; the ERTP will not be regularly printing or providing students hard copies of the course manual. Students may obtain an electronic copy of the student manual for personal printing or e-reading at

IMPORTANT NOTICES – Applicable to all ERTP courses :

  1. ERTP’s receipt of a Trainex course registration is a Registration Request, it is not a Guaranteed Enrollment in the Course. All ERTP training courses require applicant registration thru the Trainex system. Last minute course arrivals without prior ERTP Trainex course registration approval is not permitted. Before ERTP issues final approval to deliver any course and/or any EPA offices incurring expenses for the training event (including but not limited to EPA staff travel TA’s and/or ERTP training contractor expenses incurred), all EPA mandatory pre-approvals must all be met. The pre-approvals include (but are not limited to) the following:

    • Training location’s availability;
    • COVID status and/or other COVID Guidelines in effect for the location, as well as staff;
    • Agency limitations, scrutiny, and approvals of ‘Conference Spending Requirements (known as the “5170”)’ for the specific training course(s) scheduled delivery timeframe;
    • Weather (blizzard, hurricane, etc);
    • Contractual number of available course training slots;
    • EPA training location staff having priority registration over all other registrations; and/or
    • Hosting site Training Coordinator approval.

    In the event a course is subsequently postponed or canceled, or notification of registration cancellation is received, all EPA travel arrangements (airline/car rental/hotel) should be canceled in a timely manner. Registered students will receive a notification via email if/when a course is postponed and/or cancelled.
  2. For in-person course deliveries, confirmed course registered participants must abide by all facility physical access requirements for the location (examples: check-in at the security gate, Federal ID, Government PIV/CAC cards, photo id’s, etc.). If applicable for the course or location, restrictions may apply to non-citizens and acceptable identification may be required for facility entry.
For general information contact Registrar by telephone at 513-251-7669 or via e-mail at

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