NEC, Birmingham, 12 and 13 September 2018

I have just returned from 2 days with the In-Situ team at this year’s Contaminated Land Expo held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

I was there primarily to deliver a remediation talk involving the innovative use of Real Time Monitoring. I also helped out a little on the stand with the luxury of being able to wander round the hall and spend time in conversation with some old and new acquaintances.

Here’s a few reflections on what were two exhausting but rewarding days.


Standing Out

The In-Situ stand was big, bold and eye-catching bringing admiring comments from visitors and organisers. The focus was very much on multiparameter water quality monitoring and the sleek and rugged design of the Aqua TROLL 600 and Aqua TROLL 500 sondes. As one visitor remarked, they are astonishingly versatile packages.  Personally, I’m more interested in the data they produce but enjoyed listening in and absorbing some of the in-depth techie talk.

The In-Situ Team were fun to be with and the international sales team (Tom Stone from the UK, Alberto Bonamin from Italy and Adam Hobson from the USA) provided a great opportunity to observe the contrasting professional styles and deliveries of each of them.  Whilst I could pick out some stereotypical national characteristics for each (best avoided in print), what impressed was their individual and collective depth of technical knowledge and a readiness to explore new potential applications posed to them from visitors.

Talking about Real Time Remediation Monitoring

The turnout for my talk was encouraging! Doing these edge of show seminars is always an edgy experience – and a massive relief when the space fills and an audience becomes engaged. I was amazed to be sent the Twitter feed (opposite) showing more folks standing outside.

The story behind my talk was engaging and instructive and, I hope, gave those attending some insights on what can be done to improve understanding and management of remediation programmes.

(PS: It’s a good case history – if anyone out there wants a 30 minute presentation – do get in touch with me or the In-Situ office).

Talking about Groundwater Sampling

I met with some visitors who had attended one of the many groundwater monitoring training courses I’ve delivered over the last 25 or more years. Forgive me for not recognising some of you!

What was heartening was the story from one young consultant who had returned to his office after attending a course last year; was brave enough to challenge the laissez-faire sampling culture in his company; and had then gone on to develop an in-house protocol based on good science, good practice, and most importantly, underpinned by reference to published guidance. The days of dropping bailers into wells without a clear sampling objective are over as far as he is concerned. Well done to you!

And a quick promo – the next groundwater sampling courses are on 9th, 10th and 11th October 2018 in Birmingham. The last two dates are fully booked, but there are still places left on the 9thBook soon!

Sharing Experience

I had an engaging series of discussions with Adam Hobson, In-Situ’s new Hydrogeologist based in Colorado. He has been delivering Low Flow sampling training across the USA over the last year. Like me, he has come across a diverse range of different practices and approaches to the task. I’m hoping we can continue to collaborate and learn more from each other in the interests of improving understanding and raising standards in groundwater sampling.

…and to the young geology graduate who wanted to know if Hydrogeology was a good career choice. Not surprisingly I am biased – just go for it and get the application form filled in – it’s the best job in the world!

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©Peter Dumble 2018
17 September 2018