GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 13-11
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM


SVITANA, Kevin, Leggette,Brashears and Graham, Inc., 104 Mill St., Suite I, Gahanna, OH 43230,

Persistent light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) have proven to be a problematic challenge for obtaining site closure or no further action status at groundwater remediation sites. The source of the LNAPLs can be varied, ranging from leaking underground petroleum storage tanks to manufacturing facilities where long-term oil loss from equipment creates LNAPL accumulations beneath factory floors. Active recovery using pumping or periodic vacuum recovery from wells or sumps typically are employed as a remedial action, but usually have disappointing results because the LNAPL re-accumulates to thicknesses that exceed the 0.01 foot action level recognized by many states shortly after active recovery ceases. This paper presents a simple passive approach to recovering persistent LNAPL using non-woven hydrophobic oil absorbing fabrics. The method was explored in a laboratory setting to assess physical properties of the sorbent cloth. Parameters that included sorptive capacity, buoyancy and LNAPL wicking were measured and observed. From the observations it was determined that the cloth could be rolled and secured with cable ties for placement in the wells/sumps. Two sorbent placement designs were developed; one where the rolled sorbent freely floated on the well/sump fluid surface and a second where the sorbent roll was placed in the fluid column at a fixed depth. The rolled sorbents were then applied at two manufacturing facilities that have had persistent LNAPLs present for over a decade. In both instances, LNAPLs were reduced to thicknesses below the action level in less than two months. At both locations, the sorbents were removed and LNAPL thicknesses were gauged one month later. In most wells LNAPL did not re-accumulate; where it did re-accumulate, it was less than 50% of the original thickness. Monitoring of the long-term effectiveness is ongoing.