Groundwater monitoring and assessment with ESdat environmental data management software and its use in groundwater remediation plans

Groundwater Remediation Plans Groundwater investigations, contaminated/industrial sites, landfill and regulatory compliance are all ideal areas for environmental consultants and site managers, specializing in groundwater monitoring and assessment, to use environmental data management software.

A successful groundwater remediation plan, used to facilitate the removal of pollution or contaminants from groundwater, sediment or surface water needs to use data that in correctly collected and analyzed.

ESdat Data management software has a number of advantages over traditional data collection techniques:

The use of a variety of consultants, laboratories, and in-house staff to collect, manage and report on groundwater projects means data is often trapped in various pdf reports, GIS layers, emails, excel workbooks, or even in hard copy. This data becomes increasingly difficult and time consuming to manage and retrieve as more data is collected and as legislative reporting requirements become more rigorous.

Organizations increasingly need professional staff to be able to quickly analyze their data using flexible and relevant mapping, graphing, statistical and Excel based tools, that can manage non-detects, exceedances, and complex datasets.

This means all environmental data needs to be consolidated into a single system which has tools to seamlessly manage, analyze and report the data. Data needs to be audited, reliable, and easily available. Key aspects of requirements are included below.

Efficient and Accurate Data Receipt and Consolidation

Most organizations receive the majority of their environmental data from consistent sources on an ongoing basis. If this data is being manually retyped into another format (such as spreadsheets) it is inevitable that errors will creep in, and that significant time will be invested to enter, check, and recheck the data.

In addition staff should have the ability to easily perform QA checks on the data during the receipt process. These might include:

Any data management system should automate all of these tasks, eliminating the time and the need to manually manipulate data. In a recent survey, most users of the ESdat system saved over 40% of their office time working with their data (see ESdat User Survey)

Combining new data.

Traditionally, whenever additional data is received it is necessary to update two or three copies of existing data, such as tables, graphs, maps or statistics. This is error prone and the multiple copies of the data lead to possible inconsistencies.

Data management Systems should eliminates this problem by combining all data into a single database; from which outputs are easily re-generated. ESdat also allows Excel files can be automatically updated from the database.

Sharing data among users/organizations

Within any single team there is typically a variety of methods used to manage environmental data, which reflects the Microsoft Excel or Access skill level for each individual.

Sharing data between team members is usually time consuming and imperfect as people need to learn how to find and use data managed by others.

If all team members access data from a consistent system, then data can be easily shared. Availability of automated tools to produce Tables, Graphs, Maps, and statistics means staff can easily and quickly analyze new datasets.

Regulatory and Standards Compliance

Many site holders have a regulatory obligation to be able to access and report their environmental data quickly, easily, accurately, and demonstrate an audit process to confirm the accuracy of that data. ISO 14001 also requires organizations to have systems in place to manage their data. Copying and pasting data in Excel is not consistent with those obligations.

A data management system should store a complete audit trail of the data, including Certified Laboratory Documentation, Calibration, or other certificates, as well as automate imports and track edits and deletions. Reports should be available using ad-hoc, or recurring data filters. ESdat provides all of this functionality.

Functionality Requirements

Standard GIS systems are not able to easily provide the outputs that environmental professionals require. Below are an example of some outputs often needed, that are difficult to generate from within a standard GIS based system.

chemistry exceedance tables
Formatted Chemistry Exceedance Tables

Multiple parameter trigger level graphs
Graphs with multiple parameters and trigger levels

time-series or depth data with flagged exceedances
Maps with time-series or depth data, and exceedances flagged

attribute colouring and range of values on map
Maps with attribute coloring and range of values at each point


Implementation Time

Often when organizations find they have a data management issue it needs to be resolved immediately.

ESdat can be installed, operational and users trained within days if necessary. You can immediately start requesting your laboratory files in ESdat format from most leading laboratories.

If some integration or customization work is requested (typically not required) users can start using the software immediately and customization can come on-line as available.


ESdat provides efficient importing and data validation from a range of systems or data sources into a central environmental database, and provides graphical, tabular and GIS outputs.  ESdat provides a complete electronic data trail.

ESdat including reporting and analysis functions for air, water and soil for contaminated sites, groundwater resources, mines, industrial sites and landfills.

ESdat groundwater dataflow diagram

There are multiple inputs to ESdat

*** A validation process ensures accuracy ***

Sample Planning (Lab Sample Planning, Electronic Custody and Signoff) . Users can start with Sample Planning specifying the time and location of samples to be collected and the analyses to be performed

Plog Tablet (Android). Sample planning information can be uploaded to a tablet such as PLog for users to work through confirming sample collection and analysis requests. It can very from the plan and record other field data if required.

Electronic Laboratory Data. Tablet data can be automatically downloaded into ESdat and electronic laboratory requests submitted - return laboratory results can be received and automatically imported and validated against expected and submitted values and user acceptance signed off.

Logger Data. ESDat can also import high volume logger data either continually or from import files.

Historic data. Combine this with the ESdat’s ability to import historical data and Handwritten Field Notes. Handwritten field notes if required and ESdat can consolidate all your environmental data to a single database.

Environmental Standards. Once data is input it can be compared against preloaded environmental standards or site-specific standards can be added.

Data can be organized and analyzed for output to a variety of internal and external tools

Environmental GIS. Users can create ad hoc or reusable filters and view this data on an inbuilt GIS or send it to other mapping software such as EVS, ArcView, Map Info, Google Earth and Surfer.

Trend Analysis and graphs. Time series data can be viewed as a graph including environmental standards and trend analysis summary.

Formatted chemical tables. Data can be exported as formatted chemical tables with guidelines shown and exceedances flagged.

Chemistry Quality assurance. Quality assurance reports can be produced highlighting possibly data integrity issues such as duplicates and holding times.

Integrated Applications - Export. Exports are also available to other packages such as Gint or Winlog for borehole or geology log production.

ESdat organizes your environmental data in a single database making it available for

A recent survey shows that 100% of environmental and geological professionals saved time when using Esdat Environmental Data Software and that having the data organized was seen as a major feature. Over 50% of professionals achieved time savings of at least 40%.

Shaun McKenna at Tata Steel for example commented that:

" In contrast to the expense and years of frustration previously incurred trying (and failing) to implement an alternative environmental data management solution; ESdat was operational and being actively used on projects after only two days of training. This is all the more impressive as the majority of the active users have no prior data management expertise or experience. "

“The decision to purchase the ESdat software including the LSpec Sample Planning Module and PLog is already generating a return on our initial investment through the efficient interrogation and reporting of geo-environmental data."  


Groundwater Resources

Environmental Data Management for Groundwater Contamination
ESdat environmental data management software has been used to manage and report on large datasets generated from an investigation of groundwater contamination on an industrial facility in Adelaide.

ESdat was used in managing site data and the maintenance of conceptual model and time series outputs at a complex site over an extended period.
PDF Icon Full Groundwater contamination article (PDF).

Groundwater Contamination Article Summary

Water Data Transfer Format (WDTF) Export From Esdat

The water data transfer format (WDTF) is an XML data transfer format designed to support the water industry to share and deliver water data to the Bureau of Meteorology as required under the Water Regulations 2008.
Water Data Transfer Format (WDTF) Export From Esdat

Victorian Groundwater Management System Direct Input to ESdat

The Victorian groundwater management system (GMS) is a database of groundwater related data (for example groundwater, geology or chemistry data) across Victoria that is delivered quarterly by DVD from the Department of Sustainability and Environment to registered subscribers.

The delivery of data from this system is often in a format that is time-consuming to extract, filter and output as useful tables, maps, graphs and other outputs.
Victorian Groundwater Management System Summary.

Development of an adaptive groundwater monitoring framework to inform salinity management across the Victorian Mallee Region.
PDF Icon Groundwater monitoring framework case study (PDF)


Esdat Environmental data software is developed in Australia by Earth Science information systems (EScIS) and distributed globally by their resellers in Europe, America, Canada, and Austrasia




Groundwater - Water that collects or flows beneath the Earth's surface, filling the porous spaces in soil, sediment, and rocks. Groundwater originates from rain and from melting snow and ice and is the source of water for aquifers, springs, and wells. The upper surface of groundwater is the water table.

Remediation – the removal of pollution or contaminants from environmental media such as soil, groundwater, sediment or surface water

Groundwater remediation is the process by which water pollution is extracted and filtered. Groundwater is a readily available source of drinking water. Most groundwater is clean, but groundwater can become polluted, or contaminated as a result of human activities or as a result of natural conditions. Using contaminated ground water causes hazards to public health through poisoning or the spread of disease, and the practice of groundwater remediation has been developed to address these issues. Contaminants found in ground water cover a broad range of physical, inorganic chemical, organic chemical, bacteriological, and radioactive parameters. Pollutants and contaminants can be removed from ground water by applying various techniques thereby making it safe for use.