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

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

Air Sparging


Air sparging involves the injection of air or oxygen through a contaminated aquifer. Injected air traverses horizontally and vertically in channels through the soil column, creating an underground stripper that removes volatile and semivolatile organic contaminants by volatilization. The injected air helps to flush the contaminants into the unsaturated zone. SVE usually is implemented in conjunction with air sparging to remove the generated vapor-phase contamination from the vadose zone. Oxygen added to the contaminated groundwater and vadose-zone soils also can enhance biodegradation of contaminants below and above the water table.

Adobe PDF LogoA Citizen's Guide to Soil Vapor Extraction and Air Sparging
EPA 542-F-12-018, 2012

The Citizen's Guide series summarize cleanup methods used at Superfund and other sites. Each two-page fact sheet answers six questions about the cleanup method: 1) What is it? 2) How does it work? 3) How long will it take? 4) Is it safe? 5) How might it affect me? and 6) Why use it?

Adobe PDF LogoTechnology Overview Report: Air Sparging

This report, prepared by the Ground Water Remediation Technologies Analysis Center (GWRTAC), provides a brief overview of air sparging, including an introduction to its general principles, reported applicability and utilization, and cited advantages/disadvantages.

Air Sparging
EPA 510-B-95-007, 1995

4.38 Air Sparging
In Remediation Technologies Screening Matrix and Reference Guide, Version 3.0. Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable.