Contaminant Hydrogeology Laboratory

The Contaminant Hydrogeology Laboratory provides a unique environment for evaluating contaminant behaviour and in situ soil and groundwater remediation technologies at an intermediate scale between laboratory and field testing.

The laboratory is one of the INRS Laboratories for Scientific and Technological Innovation in Environment (LISTE), located in the Québec Metropolitan Technology Park, and can be operated at cold temperatures.

The Contaminant Hydrogeology Laboratory consists of two large-scale experimental tanks in which remediation experiments can be performed under controlled conditions that simulate field conditions. The tanks contain 4 to 9 m3 of soil from contaminated sites or clean soil to which specific contaminants have been added.

The following equipment is also available:

  • Six, tall, stainless steel columns 62 cm in diameter and 80 cm high
  • Ten column segments 21.2 cm in diameter (6 segments 0.6 m high and 4 segments 1.2 m high)
  • Several small-diameter columns (5 cm) of different heights
  • A soil storage and preparation area
  • Four 5 m3 tanks containing the injection solutions
  • Two marine containers for soil storage
  • An automated system for operating the laboratory
  • A data acquisition system
  • Measuring instruments for characterizing soils and aqueous and organic phases sampled during granulometric, characteristic curve, density, viscosity, surface tension, and contact angle tests.

Faculty members, students, and research technicians at the INRS Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre can use the Contaminant Hydrogeology Laboratory for their research projects, with the lab manager’s permission.

Our resources can also be used for internal and external collaborative projects or research and development contracts. Contact us.

The Contaminant Hydrogeology Laboratory can be used to

  • Study the behaviour of recalcitrant contaminants in soil and groundwater, including energetic materials from military training grounds
  • Evaluate passive, in-situ groundwater remediation methods (natural attenuation, permeable reactive barriers)
  • Develop and compare the effectiveness of active, in situ remediation methods such as sparging, aeration, biodegradation, washing with surfactants, and chemical oxidation, etc. for different types of soils and contaminants
  • Test and compare injection/pumping strategies for active, in situ remediation methods
  • Study the behaviour of sheer thinning solutions (polymers, foam) injected into geological materials with different levels of permeability
  • Develop and test mathematical models used in designing field tests and predicting their results


The Contaminant Hydrogeology Laboratory was established thanks to funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)


Richard Martel
Professor and Scientific leader
Phone: 418-654-2683

Carole Parent
Partnerships and Development Advisor
Phone: 418-654-2531

Contaminant Hydrogeology Laboratory

Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

490 rue de la Couronne

Quebec City, Quebec  G1K 9A9


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