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Evaluation of short term multi-phase extraction effectiveness for removal of non-aqueous phase liquids from groundwater monitoring wells

Evaluation of short term multi-phase extraction effectiveness for removal of non-aqueous phase liquids from groundwater monitoring wells

Proceedings of the Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemicals in Ground Water: Prevention, Detection and Remediation Conference 2000: 16-25

Short-term multi-phase extraction (MPE) is typically performed with a vacuum truck utilizing a drop tube to extract water, vapor, and LNAPL from monitoring wells for a period of 1 to 8 hours. The objective of short-term MPE is to eliminate LNAPL from site monitoring wells to the extent practicable, or to some minimal value, and to prevent LNAPL reappearance following remediation. In order to evaluate effectiveness of short-term MPE for this purpose, a database was compiled consisting of 249 MPE events from 44 monitoring wells at 15 UST release sites. The database allows comparison of pre- and post-remediation LNAPL thicknesses and LNAPL thickness changes during a series of MPE events. Only 1 of the 9 sites where post-remediation liquid level data were available experienced LNAPL removal for 4 consecutive quarters following MPE. During application of short-term MPE at these 9 sites, only 4 wells (17%) had LNAPL thicknesses decline to zero, and 2 of these wells had LNAPL return during the year following remediation. VOC mass removal rates from short-term MPE were not evaluated due to questions regarding validity of sampling methods. However, a data set of maximum VOC mass removal rates from 29 MPE remediation systems was constructed to bracket the expected values. Model simulations were performed for both homogeneous and interbedded conditions for 3 soils to exemplify the hydraulic attributes of short-term MPE. Both empirical and modeling data suggest that little drainage of LNAPL from smear zone soils is possible during an 8-hour MPE period in low permeability settings. The best chance of achieving the objectives of LNAPL removal for fine textured soils comes from reliance on vapor phase mass transfer over an extended remediation time frame rather than separate-phase drainage over an 8-hour time interval.

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