U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

Dense Nonaqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs)

Treatment Technologies

Permeable Reactive Barriers

Chlorinated Solvents in the Class of Halogenated Alkenes

This page presents general guidance and case studies about PRBs installed to address chlorinated solvents and chlorinated intermediates within the class of Halogenated Alkenes.

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General Guidance | Case Studies: Chlorinated Solvent Mixtures | Case Studies: PCE | Case Studies: TCE

General Guidance

Design Guidance for Application of Permeable Barriers to Remediate Dissolved Chlorinated Solvents
A. Gavaskar, et al., USACE/USAF. DG 1110-345-117, AL/EQ-TR-1997-0014, 192 pp, 1997

Adobe PDF Logo Regulatory Guidance for Permeable Barrier Walls Designed to Remediate Chlorinated Solvents, 2nd Edition
Interstate Technology Regulatory Cooperation Work Group (ITRC). PBW-1, 44 pp, 1999

Adobe PDF Logo Technical Protocol for Enhanced Anaerobic Bioremediation Using Permeable Mulch Biowalls and Bioreactors
Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (AFCEE), 302 pp, 2008

Biowall substrates are typically low-cost materials (mulch, compost). The substrates are mixed with common construction materials (sand, gravel) to prevent compaction and maintain permeability. Amendments can be added to stimulate both biotic and abiotic degradation processes, based on the type of contaminant(s) present and the desired degradation pathway(s) to be stimulated. The technology can be applied in source areas or use groundwater recirculation to capture deeper plumes in an in situ bioreactor configuration. Appendix F provides three example case studies evaluating system performance for remediation of chlorinated solvent contamination in ground water: (1) a pilot-scale dual permeable mulch biowall system to address TCE, cis-DCE, and VC at Seneca Army Depot, NY; (2) a permeable mulch biowall to address TCE and cis-DCE at Altus AFB, OK; and (3) a pilot-scale recirculation bioreactor to address TCE, cis-DCE, and VC at Altus AFB.

Case Studies: Chlorinated Solvent Mixtures

Cost and Performance Case Studies from the Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable

Adobe PDF Logo Evaluating the Longevity and Hydraulic Performance of Permeable Reactive Barriers at Department of Defense Sites. ESTCP Cost and Performance Report
U.S. DoD, Environmental Security Technology Certification Program, Project CU-9907, 69 pp, 2003

This report contains evaluations of implementation issues and short- and long-term performance issues associated with PRBs installed to address various halogenated volatile organic compounds at 4 DoD sites: former NAS Moffett Field (funnel and gate with ZVI), former Lowry AFB (funnel and gate with ZVI), Seneca Army Depot (continuous reactive barrier with a 50/50 mixture of sand and iron), and Dover AFB (funnel with two gates with ZVI).

Adobe PDF Logo Final Interim Remedial Action Report for Preferred Remedial Action at the Somersworth Sanitary Landfill Superfund Site
U.S. EPA Region 1, 86 pp, 2005

Sampling conducted during the remedial investigation of the landfill revealed the presence of TCE, PCE, 1,1-DCE, cis- and trans-1,2-DCE, 1,2-DCA, VC, methylene chloride, and benzene in the groundwater. The preferred remedial action (PRA) for the site involves a source control remedy consisting of a chemical treatment wall (aka a permeable reactive barrier) and permeable landfill cover, a management-of-migration remedy, institutional controls, and a groundwater monitoring program. Installation of the PRB in 2000 involved excavation of trench panels, backfilling with granular iron or a granular iron/sand mixture, placing a geotextile fabric, installing a compacted clay layer, and then installing cover soil to the ground surface. This report describes the construction activities conducted to implement the remedy components. Additional information: EPA 2009 Technical Assistance ReportAdobe PDF Logo

Adobe PDF LogoHydrogen Release Compound (HRC®) Barrier Application at the North of Basin F Site, Rocky Mountain Arsenal: Innovative Technology Evaluation Report
EPA 540-R-09-004, 95 pp, 2009

The primary objective of the evaluation in the plume study area was to determine the ability of the technology to reduce concentrations of the following contaminants: di-isopropylmethylphosphonate (DIMP), chlorophenylmethyl sulfide, chlorophenylmethyl sulfone, dieldrin, dicyclopentadiene (DCPD), chloroform, methylene chloride, and PCE. Benzene, TCE, 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane, and n-nitroso-dimethylamine were also evaluated. Results showed decreasing trends for PCE, TCE, DIMP, DCPD, and benzene.

Installation Profiles
Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF) website.

Profiles of ongoing and completed pilot- and full-scale PRB demonstrations, as well as full-scale installations, have been developed for sites in the United States, Canada, and selected locations abroad. The profiles are categorized according to the type of contaminant(s) treated: chlorinated solvents, metals and inorganics, fuel hydrocarbons, nutrients, radionuclides, other organic contaminants.

Investigation of Contaminated Ground Water at Solid Waste Management Unit 12, Naval Weapons Station Charleston, North Charleston, South Carolina, 2006-2007
D.A. Vroblesky, M.D. Petkewich, M.A. Lowery, K.J. Conlon, and L.G. Harrelson.
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5097, 80 pp, 2008

Beginning in 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey investigated natural and engineered remediation of chlorinated VOCs (PCE, TCA, TCE, cis-1,2-DCE) in ground water at Solid Waste Management Unit 12 at Naval Weapons Station Charleston, SC. The PRB installed along the main axis of the contaminant plume is removing contamination in its central area, but contaminants appear to be bypassing the southern end of the barrier.

Adobe PDF Logo Long-Term Performance Assessment of a Permeable Reactive Barrier at Former Naval Air Station Moffett Field
A. Gavaskar, W.S. Yoon, J. Sminchak, B. Sass, N. Gupta, J. Hicks, and V. Lal.
Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center, Port Hueneme, CA. CR-05-006-ENV, 37 pp, 2005

A pilot-scale PRB filled with ZVI was installed at former Naval Air Station Moffett Field in April 1996 to address chlorinated organics (TCE, DCE, and PCE) in the ground water. It was monitored periodically for the next 8 years. This report describes the results of the last round of monitoring conducted in July 2004, the relationship of the results to those of previous rounds, and implications for the longevity and hydraulic performance of the PRB.

Adobe PDF Logo Long-Term Performance of Permeable Reactive Barriers Using Zero-Valent Iron: An Evaluation at Two Sites. Environmental Research Brief
R.T. Wilkin, R.W. Puls, G.W. Sewell
EPA 600-S-02-001, 19 pp, 2002

The research described in this brief explores the geochemical and microbiological processes occurring within ZVI treatment zones in PRBs installed at the U.S. Coast Guard Support Center (USCG-SC) site near Elizabeth City, NC, and the Denver Federal Center (DFC) in Lakewood, CO. The USCG-SC plume has high (>10 mg/L) levels of chromate, elevated sulfate (to 150 mg/L), and minor amounts of TCE, cis-DCE, and VC. The DFC groundwater is contaminated primarily with TCE, DCE, cis-DCE, and TCA at maximum concentrations of 700, 230, 360, and 200 ppb, respectively.

Adobe PDF LogoPermeable Reactive Barrier Downgradient of the Southern Source Area, Former Tecumseh Products Company Site, Tecumseh, Michigan: Construction Documentation Report
U.S. EPA Region 5, 148 pp, 2012

The PRB was installed in May 2011. Site COCs include chlorinated VOCs (mainly TCE, TCA, and daughter products), SVOCs, 1,4-dioxane, metals, cyanide, and PCBs. Where the target treatment zone is relatively shallow, the design called for in situ soil blending to deliver DARAMEND(r) (a pelletized form of controlled-release carbon and ZVI) to the subsurface. The design included the use of injections to deliver ABC(r)+ (a patented mixture of ethyl lactate and glycerin, plus ZVI) to portions of the PRB farther beneath ground surface. ABC(r)+ also was used for shallow injections around an existing sewer pipe. Additional resources: Tecumseh website .

Abstracts of Journal Articles

Groundwater Remediation in Residential Areas Surrounding BRAC Sites

Laboratory Tests for Reactive Barrier Design

Sequential Passive Cleanup Processes Lower Costs and Preserve Natural Resources: NWS Charleston, SC

Case Studies: PCE

Changes In Ground-Water Quality Near Two Granular-Iron Permeable Reactive Barriers In A Sand And Gravel Aquifer, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 1997-2000
J.G. Savoie, D.B. Kent, R.L. Smith, D.R. LeBlanc, and D.W. Hubble.
U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4309, 84 pp, 2004

Two experimental PRBs of granular ZVI were installed in the path of a PCE plume (the Chemical Spill-10 plume) at the Massachusetts Military Reservation in June 1998. The goal of the field experiment was to emplace a granular-iron PRB deeper than any attempted before. The PRBs were expected to create a reducing environment and degrade the PCE by reductive dechlorination. The goal of this report is to describe observations of temporary and sustained changes to the ground-water chemistry downgradient from the PRBs.

Case Studies: TCE

Adobe PDF Logo Electrically Induced Redox Barriers for Treatment of Groundwater
T. Sale, M. Petersen, and D. Gilbert.
Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), CU-0112, NTIS: ADA438421, 187 pp, 2005

Closely spaced permeable electrodes can be installed through a ground-water contaminant plume in the format of a permeable reactive barrier, called an e-barrier. An e-barrier was installed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in August 2002 in the path of a shallow alluvial TCE plume. This report documents results from a three-year collaboration between ESTCP and Colorado State University on the development and testing of this innovative electrolytic approach for managing redox-sensitive contaminants in groundwater and determining the potential for effective degradation of contaminants and reaction intermediates through sequential oxidation and reduction.

Adobe PDF LogoEvaluating Long-Term Impacts of Soil-Mixing Source-Zone Treatment Using Cryogenic Core Collection
Olson, M., W. Clayton, T. Sale, S. De Long, M. Irianni-Renno, and R. Johnson.
ESTCP Project ER-201587, 232 pp, 2017

This project focused on DNAPL source zone remediation using soil mixing with ZVI and bentonite, a technology referred to as ZVI-clay soil mixing. In November 2012, the soil mixing technology was implemented in a TCE DNAPL source zone at Site 17, Naval Support Facility Indian Head, MD. Four years of remediation performance data indicate that TCE concentrations in soil and groundwater within the treated-soil zone had been reduced by up to four and five orders of magnitude, respectively. Groundwater concentrations in portions of the former-DNAPL source-zone approached MCLs within four years of soil-mixing completion. To assess post-remediation potential for TCE concentrations to rebound, as well as effects of remediation on natural fate and transport processes, high-resolution data representing both high-permeability and low-permeability soil strata were collected using cryogenic core collection.

In Situ Permeable Reactive Barrier for the Treatment of Hexavalent Chromium and Trichloroethylene in Ground Water
Contact: David W. Blowes, blowes@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca
Volume 1. Design and Installation, EPA 600-R-99-095A, 128 pp, 1999
Volume 2. Performance Monitoring, EPA 600-R-99-095B, 240 pp, 1999
Volume 3. Multicomponent Reactive Transport Modeling, EPA 600-R-99-095C, 52 pp, 1999
D.W. Blowes, R.W. Gillham, C.J. Ptacek, R.W. Puls, T.A. Bennett.

Adobe PDF Logo In Situ Redox Manipulation: Innovative Technology Summary Report
U.S. DOE, DOE/EM-0499, 50 pp, 2000

The demonstration of ISRM at DOE's Hanford facility described in this report was focused on hexavalent chromium; however, the ability of the technology to reduce other redox-sensitive contaminants, such as TCE, is also discussed.

In Situ Redox Manipulation Proof-of-Principle Test at the Fort Lewis Logistics Center: Final Report
V.R. Vermeul, M.D. Williams, J.C. Evans, J.E. Szecsody, B.N. Bjornstad, and T.L. Liikala.
PNNL-13357, 338 pp, 2000

A proof-of-principle test was conducted at the Fort Lewis Logistics Center to determine the feasibility of using ISRM for remediating groundwater contaminated with dissolved-phase TCE. Prior to the proof-of-principle field test, the ISRM technology was successfully demonstrated in laboratory experiments for the reductive dechlorination of dissolved TCE using sediments from the Fort Lewis site. Emplacement of the ISRM treatment zone was accomplished through a series of four separate dithionite injections conducted over a 15-month period (1998-2000) in a pilot-scale (i.e., single injection well) ISRM treatment zone. A treatment zone was created in the subsurface that reduced TCE concentrations as much as 92% on the downgradient side of the reduced zone, from a background concentration of approximately 140 ppb to approximately 11 ppb. No significant secondary effects were identified in this demonstration that could limit full-scale application of this technology.

Adobe PDF LogoPermeable Reactive Barrier Cost and Performance Report
Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center.
TR-NAVFAC-ESC-EV-1207, 85 pp, 2012

A cost and performance evaluation of three full-scale PRBs installed at Navy sites also considered the remedy footprint for each PRB, using SiteWise(tm) to assess energy consumption, water consumption, generation of criteria air pollutants, and other metrics. The PRBs represent a range of installation techniques, reactive media, and target contaminants: (1) Granular-scale ZVI trench placement at NWIRP Dallas, Texas, for TCE and Cr(VI); (2) Mulch/vegetable oil biowall rock trencher installation at NWIRP McGregor, Texas, for perchlorate and TCE; and (3) Micro-scale ZVI pneumatic fracturing injection at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, for chloroform and TCE.

Adobe PDF Logo Report for Full-Scale Mulch Wall Treatment of Chlorinated Hydrocarbon-Impacted Groundwater
Groundwater Services, Inc., Houston, TX.
DTIC: ADA422621, 97 pp, 2004

At Offutt Air Force Base, NE, a 500-ft mulch wall that provides a slow-release, long-lasting source of electron donor was installed to remediate chlorinated hydrocarbon-impacted groundwater. The mulch wall is filled with coarse sand mixed with mulch. As the organic matter in the mulch ferments, hydrogen is produced, which stimulates reductive dechlorination of the chlorinated hydrocarbons (TCE, cis-DCE, VC) in groundwater passing through the wall.

Ten Year Performance Evaluation of a Field-Scale Zero-Valent Iron Permeable Reactive Barrier Installed to Remediate Trichloroethene Contaminated Groundwater
D.H. Phillips, T. Van Nooten, L. Bastiaens, M.I. Russell, K. Dickson, S. Plant, J.M.E. Ahad, T. Newton, T. Elliot, and R.M. Kalin.
Environmental Science & Technology 44(10):3861-3869(2010)

Cores from the reactive zone of the Monkstown ZVI PRB were collected in December 2006, 10 years after its installation to address dissolved-phase TCE. At that time, the PRB was still remediating the TCE to below detection limits. This paper describes the condition of the PRB as indicated by the cores and gives projections for its remaining life span.

Abstracts of Journal Articles

Construction of a Permeable Reactive Barrier by the Bio-Polymer Trench Method Within a Residential Neighborhood