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Title: Bioremediation of a Large Chlorinated Solvent Plume, Dover AFB, DE

Bioremediation of a Large Chlorinated Solvent Plume, Dover AFB, DE Aleisa Bloom, (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA) Robert Lyon (, Laurie Stenberg, and Holly Brown (AECOM, Germantown, Maryland, USA) ABSTRACT: Past disposal practices at Dover Air Force Base (AFB), Delaware, created a large solvent plume called Area 6 (about 1 mile long, 2,000 feet wide, and 345 acres). The main contaminants are PCE, TCE, and their degradation products. The remedy is in-situ accelerated anaerobic bioremediation (AAB). AAB started in 2006 and is focusing on source areas and downgradient plume cores. Direct-push injections occurred in source areas where contamination is typically between 5 and 20 feet below ground surface. Lower concentration dissolved-phased contamination is present downgradient at 35 and 50 feet below ground surface. Here, permanent injection/extraction wells installed in transects perpendicular to the flow of groundwater are used to apply AAB. The AAB substrate is a mix of sodium lactate, emulsified vegetable oil, and nutrients. After eight years, dissolved contaminant mass within the main 80-acre treatment area has been reduced by over 98 percent. This successful application of AAB has stopped the flux of contaminants to the more distal portions of the plume. While more time ismore » needed for effects to be seen in the distal plume, AAB injections will soon cease, and the remedy will transition to natural attenuation. INTRODUCTION Oak Ridge National Laboratory Environmental Science Division (ORNL) and AECOM (formerly URS Corporation) have successfully implemented in situ accelerated anaerobic bioremediation (AAB) to remediate chlorinated solvent contamination in a large, multi-sourced groundwater plume at Dover Air Force Base (AFB). AAB has resulted in significant reductions of dissolved phase chlorinated solvent concentrations. This plume, called Area 6, was originally over 1 mile in length and over 2,000 feet wide (Figure 1). It originated from at least four separate source areas that comingled in the subsurface to form the large plume. The major contaminants of concern (COCs) are tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA), which were historically used for degreasing operations in the maintenance of aircraft and support vehicles. Relatively small areas of elevated PCE, TCE, and 1,1,1-TCA were delineated in the shallow portion of the water table aquifer by direct-push groundwater sampling. Focused direct-push AAB treatment occurred in March 2006 at these source areas (Figure 1). Downgradient of the these areas and deeper in the aquifer, AAB treatment was implemented using rows of extraction/injection wells oriented perpendicular to groundwater flow to create multiple reductive zones across the plume cores, defined as areas where more than 1,000 micrograms per liter (ug/L) total solvent concentrations were present. Initial indications of successful degradation were observed within 6 months of starting injections. FIGURE 1. Dover AFB Area 6 plume. This paper describes the AAB implementation and progress of remediation after 8 years of treatment and periodic groundwater monitoring. SITE LITHOLOGY Contamination at the site is limited to the surficial aquifer, which consists of 35 to 50 feet (ft) (11 to 15 meters [m]) of unconsolidated Pleistocene deposits of the Columbia Formation. The Columbia Formation consists of fine to coarse sand with silt and clay lenses and less common gravel lenses. Silts and silty sands are generally encountered to a depth of 10 to 12 ft (3.05 to 3.65 m) below ground surface (bgs) and grade to medium- and coarse-grained sands to a depth of 35 to 50 ft (11 to 15 m) bgs. There is a clay and silt unit (part of the Calvert Formation) below the surficial aquifer that acts as an aquitard to the downward migration of contaminants. The depth to the water table varies across the site but usually ranges from 8 to 15 ft (2.4 to 4.5 m) bgs in the treatment area. REMEDIAL APPROACH AND OPERATIONS Because the Columbia Aquifer is used as a source of potable water off base, the remedial goal is to restore the aquifer to usable condition, i.e., reduce all chemicals of concern to below drinking water maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). To achieve this goal, AAB was selected as the best remedial alternative to reduce the solvent contamination. Source areas with high solvent concentrations were present in the shallow portion of the aquifer. From the source areas, dissolved solvents migrated downgradient and deeper in the aquifer with the flow of groundwater. In the deeper portion of the aquifer, the individual plumes comingle to form the larger Area 6 Plume, which covers approximately 345 acres. Types of Substrate. Previous AAB pilot tests at Dover AFB used either sodium lactate or emulsified vegetable oil (EVO) as substrates to stimulate microbial growth. The best results were obtained with...« less
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Conference: Battelle 2015, Miami, FL, USA, 20150518, 20150521
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Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
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ORNL work for others
Country of Publication:
United States