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Case Study

Site characterization for former drilling sumps


Advisian provided site characterization, assistance with stakeholder consultation and developed a risk based framework for former drilling sumps in the Mackenzie Delta region of the Northwest Territories.

The former drilling sumps contain a variety of potential contaminants including metals and trace elements, hydrocarbons, PAHs, VOCs and other components of drilling mud. The sumps were capped in the 1970s and encapsulated in permafrost. However, since global warming has resulted in permafrost degradation, the previously contained contaminants now have potential to impact wildlife, human health and surface water quality in the Mackenzie Delta Region.

The primary purpose of the project was to prioritize sumps that have high potential of erosion as a result of the Mackenzie Delta water fluctuations or permafrost erosion, and to investigate and characterize soils, surface water and sediments associated with the sumps and evaluate potential options for risk assessment and risk management.