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

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division
Crozet Orchard, Crozet, VA
Superfund Removal

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Gravity Irrigation
Solar Irrigation

Cleanup Objectives: Remove metals and pesticides such as lead-arsenates from soil at a former apple orchard

Green Remediation Strategy: Employ phytoremediation supported by gravity-fed and renewable energy-powered irrigation techniques

  • Installed 20,000 Chinese brake ferns for hyperaccumulation of arsenic existing primarily in surface soil (within nine inches)
  • Captures and stores hill-top spring water in a 4,000- gallon tank from which water is transferred by gravity to 17 of 24 fern plots when needed
  • Uses solar-powered low-flow pumps to transfer water from a hill-bottom spring to a second storage tank, from which water is delivered to other (sloped) plots by way of gravity-fed drip methods


  • Reduced arsenic concentrations in seven plots to below the 58 parts per million (ppm) action level after two growing seasons, consistent with projections of 20-50 ppm each season
  • Reduced arsenic concentrations in five plots to levels within 10 ppm of cleanup goals
  • Stores uncontaminated spring water for onsite use during dry spells
  • Avoids costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with consumption of grid electricity during the treatment process
  • Provides unobtrusive methods to remediate residential properties

Property End Use: Residential and open space

Point of Contact: Myles Bartos, U.S. EPA Region 3

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