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Washington Hydrogeology Symposium

April 22-25, 2024 | Muckleshoot Casino Resort, Auburn, WA

Washington Hydrogeology Symposium

April 22-25, 2024 | Muckleshoot Casino Resort, Auburn, WA

2024 Workshops and Field Trips

Field Trips

Monday, April 22, 2024, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

FT 1: Creek Restoration Projects in Pierce County, WA

Leader: Jonathan Kemp (EnCo Environmental)

Join us on our field trip to explore three remarkable environmental restoration projects in Pierce County. These initiatives represent significant efforts to enhance the health of local ecosystems, improve flood storage capacity, and create better habitats for wildlife and fish species.

Stop 1: Puyallup Tribe Fisheries Upper Clarks Creek Bank Stabilization
The Upper Clarks Creek Bank Stabilization project experienced substantial down-cutting and in-channel erosion. This project stabilized a 12’ head cut as well and roughened the channel and banks for approximately 2,000 LF to reduce continued channel degradation and downstream transport of sediment into the downstream reaches of Clarks Creek. Project objectives included 1) a reduction in sediment production and transport from eroding channel banks and bed in the headwaters of Clarks Creek and 2) an increase in flood storage capacity within Upper Clarks Creek and Upper Clarks Creek Tributary. Construction was completed about 3 years ago. 

Stop 2: Pierce County Clear Creek Habitat Restoration
The Clear Creek Habitat Restoration project improved access to salmon habitat and expanded the flood storage capacity by removing sections of an existing access road that separated Clear Creek from an adjacent wetland. This 16-acre site within the Puyallup River watershed is home to many wildlife and fish species, including chinook, coho, and chum salmon, as well as bull trout, cutthroat trout, coyote, and deer. Construction was completed in November 2022. 

Stop 3: Port of Tacoma Lower Wapato Creek Habitat Project
The lower Wapato Creek Habitat Project re-establishes stream and wetland habitat on approximately 20 acres of tidally influenced estuary and fish bearing stream. This is an advance mitigation project that consists of two primary fish and wetland habitat restoration elements. The project consisted of replacement of two fish-barrier culverts that convey Wapato Creek under 12th Street East with a fish-passable full-span bridge; and relocation of Wapato Creek from a ditched system to a longer, meandering stream channel and associated wetlands. This includes a variety of associated estuarine/freshwater habitats and a densely vegetated forested upland buffer to provide an increase in the quantity and quality of fish and wildlife habitat, wetlands, and flood capacity.

Pack or wear the following:

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Boots
  • Hat or cap
  • Reusable bottle for water or liquids

Cost: $100. Expect a full-day outing with provided box lunch. Please plan to dress for the weather.

FT 2: Lake Tapps and Flaming Geyser State Park

Leader: Andy Long (U.S. Geological Survey)

Join us on our field trip to explore two remarkable water resource and unique geologic sites in King County.  These places will enable us to observe and discuss significant improvements made to protect water quality, volume, and native fish resources for the White River and to observe and learn about several unique geologic and natural resource features along the Green River.  A boxed lunch will be served at field trip Stop 2: Powerhouse.

Stop 1: Lake Tapps Headworks
The first part of the tour will include observing and discussing how Cascade Water Alliance has designed new facilities to improve how river water from the Mud Mountain Dam is diverted from the White River into Lake Tapps via a constructed water transfer flume. We will learn about the primary advantage of the on-going intake improvements for sediment control and safe fish passage. We will look at the new headwall along the White River and discuss how it was designed to reduce sediment pass through and debris diversion. We will observe the sediment sluiceway, automated sluice radial gate, and a bedload excluder wall. We will learn how the additional manually operated flow control slide gates provide and allow for the maximum diversion of water into the flume system.

Stop 2: Powerhouse
The second part of the tour will include observing and learning about the historical concrete building which contains an operating area, repair shop, subway, offices, Exciter penstock surge tanks, transformer bays, relief, safety, and water valves, water and air filters, bearings, massive piping, gear works, hydraulic pumps, lightning arrestor, switches, electric towers, and the main turbine / generator room. We will look at and discuss the details of the four massive Allis Chalmers Company of Milwaukee Wisconsin turbine / generator units which are impressive and large, but are no longer functional. Outside, we will look at the water channel leading into the powerhouse from Lake Tapps and the tailrace ditch located west of the powerhouse.

Stop 3: Flaming Geyser State Park
The tour will include looking at and discussing local outcroppings, formations, bluffs, and sedimentary layer features such as cross bedding and laminae (sedimentary rock, organic tissue, or other material) sequences. We will observe and interpret the presence of massive glacial erratics, discuss and interpret the geomorphology of an abandoned fluvial floodplain and terraces in the open meadow above the current Green River floodway and discuss stream geomorphology, and observe, from a distance, evidence of a hammer bluff along the eastern flank of the Green River valley. We will look at erosion and deformation events associated with this bluff such as slumping and observe rock units susceptible to erosion that contain kaolinites and quartz, and the more resistant units that contain clays and shales. 

Pack or wear the following:

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Boots
  • Hat or cap
  • Reusable bottle for water or liquids

Cost: $100. Expect a full-day outing with provided box lunch. Please plan to dress for the weather.


Workshops are scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2024. Certificates of Attendance/Completion can be provided on request; email

WS 1:  Water 101 – An Overview of Washington State Water Law, Water Rights, and Related Water Resources, Tools, and Challenges

John Rose, Andrea Lauden, Rebecca Inman, Ben Carr, Noah Wentzel | Washington State Department of Ecology
Matt Janz | Washington State Office of the Attorney General

CWRE Credits: This workshop is valid for 8 continuing education credits.

The Department of Ecology’s Water Resources program supports sustainable water resources management to meet the present and future water needs of people and the natural environment, in partnership with Washington communities. As competing demands for our commonly owned water supplies and environmental threats such as climate change loom larger than ever, there is increasing public awareness of water supply issues across the state.

As the state agency responsible for managing water resources for Washington, we strive to ensure that there is enough water for people, farms, and fish. It’s easy to say this, but the problem is more complicated. Washington has a history of water laws that date back more than 100 years.

In this one-day workshop, Ecology Water Resources staff and managers will share the latest information and insight on:

  • Western water law and the four part test 
  • Case examples – so, why is it so hard to get a water right?  
  • Adjudication efforts in the Nooksack (WRIA 1) and Lake Roosevelt-Middle Tributaries (WRIA 58)
  • Ecology’s Certified Water Rights Examiner (CWRE) program  
  • Ecology’s Cost Reimbursement program 
  • Resources for estimating historical water use  
  • Estimating annual consumptive quantity (ACQ)  
  • Case examples of Cost Reimbursement Agreement water right decisions  

Cost: $175 for attendees, $200 for Workshop Only. Early morning and mid-morning breaks provided.

WS 2: Python in Hydrogeology

Instructor: Christian Langevin, U.S. Geological Survey

Python is a popular programming language that can be used by hydrogeologists to automate repetitive tasks, perform scientific analyses, create publication-quality graphics, and develop graphical animations of scientific data and model results. The purpose of this one-day introductory workshop is to help hydrogeologists get up and running with Python.  The first half of the workshop will focus on Python fundamentals, including how packages are managed and installed, strategies for writing Python scripts, and use of the popular Numpy, Matplotlib, and Pandas packages. During the second half of the workshop participants will learn to work with spatial data, solve analytical solutions of groundwater equations, create animations, and develop groundwater models. This workshop consists of hands-on exercises designed to improve overall Python proficiency. Participants will need to bring a laptop computer to the workshop; software information will be provided in advance of the class. The workshop presenter will communicate with registered participants on final content and other workshop materials. 

Morning Session

  • Understanding and installing Python distributions and environments
  • Introduction to writing Python scripts
  • Reading, processing, and plotting data using Numpy, Matplotlib, and Pandas

Afternoon Session

  • Working with spatial data
  • Solving analytical groundwater equations
  • Creating animations
  • Constructing, running, and post-processing a MODFLOW groundwater model

Cost: $175 for attendees, $200 for Workshop Only. Early morning and mid-morning breaks provided.

WS 3: PFAS - Regulatory Context, Sampling Guidance, and Ex Situ/In Situ Treatment

Tamzen Macbeth, Charles Schaefer, John Stults | CDM Smith
Kim Wooten, Washington State Department of Ecology

The PFAS Workshop will cover a broad range of aspects relevant to understanding and addressing per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) in the environment.  Tamzen Macbeth of CDM Smith will lead the workshop along with a team of experts covering topics to introduce the PFAS issues, guidance, and current state of knowledge for treatment.  The workshop will start with an overview of PFAS chemicals, environmental release mechanisms, and why PFAS chemicals are such a challenge, spurring media references as “forever chemicals.”  Instructors will provide a regulatory perspective to set the context for the evolving guidance/requirements for cleanup.  Methods and equipment for sampling to minimize cross contamination, collect representative samples, and obtain analysis results to the necessary detection levels will be covered.  The remainder of the workshop will discuss treatment/remediation technologies and strategies, as well as disposal pathways for residual material.  Current developments in technologies for ex-situ treatment of soils and water will be covered.  The in-situ remediation segment will cover subsurface characterization, conceptual site models, use of modeling, and in-situ soil and groundwater remediation technologies and approaches.  Select case study examples will be used to illustrate technologies/strategies.  Participants should expect to come out of the workshop with a good understanding of the issues surrounding PFAS in the environment, an overview of treatment approaches, and insight into gaps and future research needs.

Cost: $175 for attendees, $200 for Workshop Only. Early morning and mid-morning breaks provided.

WS 4: Optimizing Water Wellfield Performance

Instructors: Jim Bailey, Todd Kinkaid & Brian Peck, Shannon & Wilson, Inc.

This workshop will provide water system managers, operators, engineering consultants and well drillers some important tools for optimizing long term well performance and wellfield operation.  Most problems with well performance are preventable, and start with well construction and development, and are then exacerbated by water quality conditions, well operation and rehabilitation efforts. Mr. Bailey will present the important elements that are responsible for design, construction and care of water wells.  He will use real world examples that demonstrate the science to maximizing well performance.  Wellfield optimization will be addressed by Todd Kinkaid, a nationally recognized numerical modeler. Todd will give practical examples that show the advantages and disadvantages of common models used and how to recognize their limitations based on the amount of available data.  Brian Peck is an expert in dewatering design and the testing of water wells to determine optimal yield.  He will show how proper use of pumping tests can have a significant impact on the long term operation of water wells.  Completion of this workshop will provide Continuing education units (CEU) pending approval. 

Cost: $175 for attendees, $200 for Workshop Only. Early morning and mid-morning breaks provided.

More details to be announced - watch this space!