Bruce W. Baker, Gregory D. Hoffman, Ann Arbor, D. Robert Gan
Petroleum contamination of groundwater is a widespread occurrence and is traditionally remediated using groundwater extraction with surface treatment. This remediation scheme is ineffective due to irregular groundwater flow paths, and the low solubility and high soil sorption tendencies of petroleum products in the subsurface. In-situ groundwater aeration, sometimes referred to as air sparging, provides a more effective approach. In-situ groundwater aeration technology takes advantage of the high volatility and biodegradability of many health concerned petroleum constituents. By injecting air into the subsurface, volatile organic compounds readily partition into the vapor phase and are subsequently transported to the vadose zone for collection by a soil vapor extraction system. The sy tem also provides sufficient amounts of oxygen to the groundwater to promote biodegradation of petroleum contaminants. Development of an in-situ groundwater aeration system for petroleum releases within a regulatory framework includes several steps. First, site specific fate and transport mechanisms relevant to petroleum releases must be evaluated. Next, key design parameters, such as injection well construction, well locations, and air injection rates are discussed. Approximate capital, operation, and maintenance costs are given along with typical system remedial time frames. A case history involving a gasoline release from an underground storage tank is presented to illustrate the development and success of an in-situ aeration system.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90984©1994 AAPG Annual Convention, East Lansing, Michigan, September 18-20, 1994