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Abstract: Bioremediation as an Efficient Method to Degrade Creosote and Improve Groundwater Quality

Virginia Anne Newbern

A hydrogeologic monitoring evaluation was conducted to determine the efficiency of bioremediation on a site at which creosote is used for pressure treating and wood preservation. Initially, pentachlorophenol (PCP) and diesel fuel were incorporated with the creosote. The waste water generated from the process was disposed of in three unlined surface impoundments until 1982. Thirteen monitoring wells were installed between August 1981 and the first half of 1982 where both PCP and creosote releases were found and attributed to the impoundments. A groundwater quality assessment program was initiated in April 1986 and a subsequent pilot groundwater remediation program begun in February 1987. A Corrective Action Plan (CAP) has been in operation since August 1987 and was designed to remediat groundwater from the uppermost water-bearing sand (Bentley sand), which was affected by the impoundment areas. With the CAP, a system of 21 recovery wells set in 4 lines were implemented to withdraw the groundwater. The groundwater was then treated in above-ground bioreactors where microorganisms were introduced to degrade the creosote compounds. Treated groundwater was then discharged to the public waste-water facility or injected to recharge the Bentley sands by the use of either of the two recharge trenches. Both nutrients and oxygen were added to the water prior to injection to increase the in-situ bioremediation of the creosote and PCP contaminants via two air sparging lines. The results demonstrate the reduction of creosote constituents from the groundwater with the use of bioreme iation.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90983©1994 GCAGS and Gulf Coast SEPM 44th Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas, October 6-7, 1994