Project Highlights

  • Successful rapid reduction of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminant concentrations in soil and groundwater completed within approximately 24 hours.
  • In situ injection application of PlumeStop® Liquid Activated Carbon and ORC Advanced technologies assist REGENESIS strategic partner in bringing closure to facility identified as Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) site
  • Petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations (PHCs) in groundwater and soil reduced below Washington Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA)

Project Summary

An active gasoline station in Bothell, Washington was listed as a hazardous Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) site by the State of Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) after two subsurface investigations detected petroleum hydrocarbon-impacted soil and groundwater. Entering into the state’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) in 2001, the site continuously failed to meet regulatory requirements defined in the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), despite years of cleanup efforts using a soil vapor extraction (SVE) system and an air sparge (AS) system to remove contaminant concentrations from beneath the site. Charged with remediation, Antea Group partnered with REGENESIS to implement a solution, which included in situ injection applications using PlumeStop and ORC Advanced technologies.

Technology Applied

PlumeStop – an innovative groundwater remediation technology designed to address the challenges of excessive time and end-point uncertainty in groundwater remediation. PlumeStop is composed of very fine particles of activated carbon (1-2µm) suspended in water through the use of unique organic polymer dispersion chemistry. Once in the subsurface, the material behaves as a colloidal biomatrix binding to the aquifer matrix, rapidly removing contaminants from groundwater, and expediting permanent contaminant biodegradation.

ORC Advanced (ORC-A) – an engineered, oxygen-release compound designed specifically for enhanced, in situ aerobic bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons in groundwater and saturated soils that, upon contact with groundwater, produces a controlled-release of molecular oxygen (17% by weight) for periods of up to 12 months in a single application, accelerating aerobic biodegradation processes up to 100 times faster than natural degradation rates.

Background

Despite the installation of three groundwater monitoring wells (MW-1 through MW-3) in 2002 and five additional monitoring wells (MW-4 through MW-8) in 2003, concentrations of total petroleum hydrocarbons in TPH-g and BTEX in the western portion of the site exceeded the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) Method A cleanup levels. In 2004, a soil vapor extraction (SVE) system and an air-sparge (AS) system were installed and by 2005 an estimated 2,076 pounds of total volatile hydrocarbons (TVH) were extracted, with concentrations falling below MTCA Method A cleanup levels for two consecutive quarters. Laboratory analysis of groundwater samples collected during the following two quarters, however, indicated that hydrocarbon compounds in groundwater had increased in several monitoring wells.

Challenge

The AS system was restarted in October, 2005 and operated on an approximate 2-week-on and 2-week-off cycle through February, 2009, when it was shut down based on non-detectable hydrocarbon concentrations in all but one groundwater monitoring well, MW-3. As a remediation strategy to address TPH-g and benzene impacts that remained in well MW-3, sulfate injection was proposed. However, due to high sulfate concentrations observed in the down-gradient monitoring well, MW-9, the sulfate injections were suspended in November of 2012 and evaluations of other chemical injection methods were proposed.

REGENESIS Remediation Services (RRS) recommended PlumeStop injection and completed two soil borings for design verification testing in November, 2015. Soils on-site were primarily sand and gravel, with two, 4-6” clayey silt layers—one at approximately five feet and the other at 10.5 feet below ground surface (bgs). Based on field screening with photoionization (PID), contamination appeared to be concentrated at the 8-9 feet depth interval, a point at which soil increasingly hardens. With results of a laboratory analysis, RRS modified the design, adjusting the vertical treatment interval from 5-12 feet below ground surface to 7-11 feet, with the concentrations and quantities of PlumeStop and ORC-A remaining unchanged.

Solution

REGENESIS Remediation Services (RRS) injected approximately 200 gallons of PlumeStop 6,000 ppm solution into on-site wells IW-1 and SVE-1 December, 2015. Using strategically placed point locations to rapidly reduce contaminant concentrations, Direct Push Technology (DPT) was employed to advance injection points throughout the treatment zone at each respective injection point location. The following day, the solution was increased to 12,000 ppm, for a total of 835 gallons of PlumeStop solution (as applied with water) injected within the targeted treatment interval to deliver the full volume of remediation chemistry and complete the application on schedule.

A total of nine (9) PlumeStop DPT injection points were cleared to 5 feet below ground surface pre-injection, and during the course of the injection seven (7) point locations were advanced to a depth of 11 feet below ground surface and retracted to a depth of 7 feet below ground surface using 1.50 inch outer diameter (O.D) Geoprobe® injection rods with retractable screen tooling.

Additionally, 120 pounds of ORC-A were applied at approximately 30% solution (w/w) in cleared boreholes via a backfilling method, which involved drilling to the target depth, retracting the rods and pouring the ORC-A slurry down open boreholes to approximately 5 feet below ground surface in order to properly abandon points.

Results

During the course of the injection and at the end of the application, increases in groundwater levels were observed in monitoring wells MW-3 and MW-9 in the treatment area. Additionally, increases in ORP (oxidation reduction potential) were observed in MW-2, MW-3, MW-6, MW-7, MW-8, and MW-9. Increases in dissolved oxygen were also noted post-injection in MW-2, MW-3, MW-6, MW-7, MW-8, and MW-9.

The successful and rapid reduction of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminant concentrations in soil and groundwater was achieved within approximately 24 hours, despite difficulty injecting the material via direct-push injection points. With field modifications, RRS was able to not only mitigate surfacing issues by switching to injection via injection well application but also observe the desired distribution of the remediation chemistry in the subsurface.

In the same way the State of Washington Department of Ecology continues to take steps and implement tools that will streamline the cleanup process even further, REGENESIS recognizes the critical need for cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally sound remediation solutions. Whether pioneering new in situ technologies in the lab or rolling up its sleeves in the field to ensure a successful project outcome, REGENESIS remains committed to advancing the remediation industry for the benefit of its partners as well as for the future of the world at large.

How PlumeStop® Brings Sites to Permanent Closure

PlumeStop rapidly removes contaminants from groundwater and stimulates their permanent degradation. This exciting, turn-key solution offers several key benefits for addressing brownfield site treatment, including:

  • Rapid reduction of dissolved-phase plumes
  • Distribution of widely under low injection pressures
  • Achievement of stringent groundwater clean-up standards
  • Providing a long-term means of addressing matrix back–diffusion
  • Elimination of excessive time and end-point uncertainty associated with groundwater remediation

PlumeStop is composed of very fine particles of activated carbon (1-2µm), suspended in water through the use of unique organic polymer dispersion chemistry. Once in the subsurface, the material behaves as a colloidal biomatrix, binding to the aquifer matrix, rapidly removing contaminants from groundwater, and expediting permanent contaminant biodegradation. This unique remediation technology accomplishes treatment with the use of highly dispersible, fast-acting, sorption-based technology which captures and concentrates dissolved-phase contaminants within its matrix-like structure. When contaminants are sorbed onto the regenerative matrix, biodegradation processes achieve complete remediation at an accelerated rate, leading to successful site treatment.