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

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

State Coalition for Remediation of Drycleaners Site Profiles

Tiger Cleaners, Memphis, Tennessee

Historical activity that resulted in contamination.

Tiger Cleaners is located in the Bellbrook Retail and Industrial Complex, Memphis, Tennessee. It is part of a strip-mall type structure built between 1965 and 1984.The subject site has been utilized as a drycleaning facility since 1984. The main contaminant source area is located beneath the drycleaning machine in the rear of the facilty. A secondary source of contamination is located just outside the back door of the facility where filters were drained.

Contaminants present and the highest amount detected in both soil and groundwater.

Contaminant Media Concentration (ppb) Nondetect
cis-1,2-Dichloroethene groundwater 26,300 ppb
cis-1,2-Dichloroethene soil 111 ppb
Tetrachloroethene (PCE) groundwater 20,000 ppb
Tetrachloroethene (PCE) soil 4,313,000 ppb
Trichloroethene (TCE) groundwater 16,985 ppb
Trichloroethene (TCE) soil 41 ppb
trans-1,2-Dichloroethene groundwater 1,913 ppb
trans-1,2-Dichloroethene soil 5 ppb
Vinyl Chloride groundwater 2,800 ppb
Vinyl Chloride soil 65 ppb

Site Hydrology

Deepest Significant Groundwater Contamination:   12ft bgs
Plume Size:  
Average Depth to Groundwater:   7ft

Lithology and Subsurface Geology

  clayey silt
Depth: 0-11ft bgs
11ft thick
Conductivity: 1ft/day
Gradient: 0.038ft/ft
Depth: 11-15ft bgs
4ft thick
  clayey silt
Depth: 15-18ft bgs
3ft thick
Depth: 18-20ft bgs
2ft thick
  clayey silt
Depth: 20-23ft bgs
3ft thick
  fine sand
Depth: 23-26ft bgs
3ft thick
  medium sand
Depth: 26-30ft bgs
4ft thick

Pathways and DNAPL Presence

DNAPL Present

Remediation Scenario

Cleanup Goals:
  Goals are site- specific based on potential receptors, risk assessment and other factors. The State of Tennessee uses the EPA's Clean Water Act MCLs for groundwater and the EPA Region 9 PRG's for industrial soil as screening tools. Site specific goals may be calculated.


In Situ Bioremediation

Why the technology was selected:
The Regenesis HRC® technology was selected because studies estimated the cost would be lower in comparison with other in situ bioremediation and in situ chemical oxidation technologies.

Date implemented:
April 2002

Final remediation design:
The HRC application (glycerol tripolylactate) was conducted April 22-26, 2002. Prior to the application, eight groundwater monitoring wells, which delineated the plume extent, were sampled to quantify baseline groundwater contaminant concentrations. In the source area, where the highest soil contaminant concentrations were detected at 4-6 ft, a directional drill rig was used to inject a total of 1,080 lbs of HRC into 4, 40-ft horizontal borings beneath the Cleaners, at depths ranging from 7-9 ft below the floor surface. Outside the source area, a Power Probe with an expendable carbon-steel point and a Geoprobe grout pump were used to complete 105 vertical injections. At eight locations, 100 lbs of HRC was injected into each boring along the fire-main trench located outside the Cleaners (upgradient and adjacent to MW-12), from a depth of 3-13 ft bgs (total 800 lbs). At 97 locations, approximately 21 lbs of HRC were injected into each boring in the contaminant plume, from a depth of 3-9 ft bgs (total of 2,120 lbs).

Other technologies used:
A passive soil-gas survey (EMFLUX®)was utilized to delineate the contaminant plume before groundwater monitoring wells or DPT soil sampling was conducted. This was helpful in pinpointing contaminant hot spots.

Results to date:
The eight ground water monitoring wells are being sampled quarterly to monitor contaminant and bioenvironmental conditions. To date, seven quarters of monitoring data is available. Baseline sampling indicated that the most significantly impacted monitoring well (MW-12) had PCE and TCE concentrations of 1,790 1 µg/l and 1,758 µg/l respectively, prior to HRC application. These concentrations are 90% less than the highest detected. The latest quarter of data indicates a decline in PCE with respect to baseline concentrations. This decline is about 40% for the most impacted well and as much as 90% in other source area wells. PCE shows a consistent pattern of decline for all quarterly data from the source area samples. The most impacted well, and the wells immediately downgradient, however, exhibit some fluctuation within the downward trend. TCE concentrations at the most impacted well have also fluctuated above and below baseline levels with the latest quarter of data, indicating an increase above baseline conditions but an 86% decrease below the highest detected at the site. Downgradient wells indicate slightly fluctuating-to-steady TCE concentrations. Source area wells indicate an overall decline in TCE. Other degradation by-products (DCE and VC) have indicated a flucuating trend above and below baseline limits with the largest degradation by-product concentration occurring at the most impacted well. There were no indications that contaminant plumes have migrated or advanced beyond previously defined boundaries. It is not certain if the noted decline in parent product, when compared to baseline concentrations, is a result of the HRC remedy. In the most impacted well, the largest reduction in contaminant concentration (from NAPL) to dissolved phase concentrations) occurred prior to HRC injection. The cause of the decline is unknown; however, potential lab result discrepancies have been identified with some of the reported data. In addition, favorable reductive groundwater conditions are not supported by the geochemical data although a slight increase of respiration by-products (CO2) and degradation by-products (cl-) during some quarters seem to indicate active biodegradation.

Next Steps:
1. Comprehensive review of site analytical and geochemical data along with collection and analysis methods. 2. Considering ISCO application to reach cleanup goals.

Cost to Design and Implement:


Cost for Assessment:
Cost for Operation and Maintenance:
Total Costs for Cleanup:

Lessons Learned

1.A thorough understanding of site geochemistry is required to understand effect of HRC on groundwater.
2. It is unclear how much time will be necessary before complete cleanup by HRC can be acheived.
3. In evaluating the cost of implementing this technology, monitoring costs should be included as these costs can be significant.


TN Dept of Environment and Conservation
Drycleaner Environmental Response Program
4th Floor, L&C Annex
401 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37243

Site Specific References

Tiger Cleaners Site File


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