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

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

Ground-Water Circulating Wells


Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable Cost and Performance Case Studies

Adobe PDF LogoField Applications of In Situ Remediation Technologies: Ground-Water Circulation Wells
EPA 542-R-98-009, 1998

This report is one in a series that document recent pilot demonstrations and full-scale applications that either treat soil and ground water in situ or increase the solubility and mobility of contaminants to improve their removal by other remediation technologies. It is hoped that this information will allow more regular consideration of new, less costly, and more effective technologies to address the problems associated with hazardous waste sites and petroleum contamination.

Adobe PDF LogoA Full-Scale Demonstration of In Situ Chemical Oxidation through Recirculation at the X-701B Site
West, O.R., et al.
ORNL/TM-13556, 110 pp, 1997

In 1997, the Department of Energy undertook a month-long, field-scale treatability study using in situ chemical oxidation through recirculation (ISCOR) technology at a Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site where TCE contaminates groundwater and sediments. Additional information: Innovative Technology Summary Report, DOE/EM-0496Adobe PDF Logo

Adobe PDF LogoInvestigation of Groundwater Recirculation for the Removal of RDX from the Pantex Plant Perched Aquifer
Boles, K.M.; R.J. Charbeneau; S. Black; K. Rainwater; D.L. Barnes. ANRCP-1998-7, 104 pp, 1998.

A pilot dual-phase extraction treatment system has been installed at one location at the Pantex plant to test the effectiveness of such a system on the removal of high explosive (HE) compounds from the perched aquifer below the plant.

Adobe PDF LogoAdvanced Fuel Hydrocarbon Remediation National Test Location: Groundwater Circulation Well Environmental Cleanup Systems
1997. Jeff Heath; Ernie Lory, Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center, Port Hueneme, CA. NFESC-TDS-2014-ENV(REV), NTIS: ADA323875. 4 pp.

This technology data sheet describes the demonstration of a bio-enhanced ground-water circulation well to reduce gasoline contamination levels in ground water.

Adobe PDF LogoRoy F. Weston, Inc. and IEG Technologies Corporation Unterdruck-Verdampfer-Brunnen (UVB) Technology: Innovative Technology Evaluation Report
1999. Tetra Tech EM, Inc., Cincinnati, OH. EPA 540-R-95-500, NTIS: PB2000-101632, 180 pp.

The Unterdruck-Verdampfer-Brunnen (UVB) technology developed by IEG Technologies Corporation was demonstrated in association with Roy F. Weston over a period of 12 months from April 1993 to May 1994 at March AFB in Riverside, California, under EPA's Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) program. UVB is a patented in situ ground-water remediation technology developed in Germany that combines air-lift pumping and air stripping to clean aquifers contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Once the upward stream of water leaves the stripping reactor, the water falls back through the well casing and returns to the aquifer through the upper well screen. This return flow to the aquifer, coupled with inflow at the well bottom, circulates groundwater around the UVB well. The extent of the circulation pattern is known as the radius of circulation cell, which determines the volume of water affected by the UVB system.

Airlift Recirculation Well Test Results: Southern Sector
1997. R.M. White; R.A. Hiergesell, Westinghouse Savannah River Co., Aiken, SC. WSRC-TR-97-00246, NTIS: DE97054220, 43 pp.

Two airlift recirculation wells have been installed and tested to quantify performance parameters needed to locate a line of these wells along the leading edge of a TCE and PCE plume. The zone of capture has been estimated to be within a radius of 130 - 160 ft. around the wells. At SSR-012, TCE was stripped from the ground water at approximately 1.2 lb./day. The longer term effect of the recirculation wells upon the plume and the degree of recirculation within the aquifer itself is being studied.

Development of a Vertical Recirculation Well System for the A/M Area of the Savannah River Site
1996. D.G. Jackson Jr.; B.B. Looney, Westinghouse Savannah River Company, AIKEN, SC. WSRC-RP--96-477, NTIS Order Number DE98052107, 150 pp.

This report describes the development and siting of a recirculation well system to contain the 500 ppb trichloroethylene isoconcentration contour within each sector of a dissolved chlorinated solvent plume at the Savannah River site.

Field Evaluation of a Horizontal Well Recirculation System for Groundwater Treatment: Pilot Test at the Clean Test Site Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Piketon, Ohio
1998, M.T. Muck; P.M. Kearl; R.L. Siegrist. ORNL/TM--13531, NTIS: DE98058133, 206 pp.

This report presents the results of field testing a horizontal well recirculation system at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The recirculation system uses a pair of horizontal wells to set up a recirculation flow field: one well for ground-water extraction and treatment and the other for reinjection of treated ground water. The overall purpose of this project is to study treatment of mixed ground-water contaminants that occur in a thin water-bearing zone not easily targeted by traditional vertical wells. The results of the pilot test at an uncontaminated site, the Clean Test Site, are presented.

Field Evaluation of a Horizontal Well Recirculation System for Groundwater Treatment: Field Demonstration at X-701B Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Piketon, Ohio
1998. N. Korte; M. Muck; P. Kearl; R. Siegrist; R. Schlosser; J. Zutman; T. Houk. ORNL/TM--13529, NTIS: DE98058132, 173 pp.

This report describes the field-scale demonstration performed at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant to evaluate in situ treatment of ground water using horizontal recirculation coupled with treatment modules. Ground-water contamination at X-701B consists of trichloroethene and technetium-99.

A Field-Scale Test of In Situ Chemical Oxidation through Recirculation
1998. O.R. West; S.R. Cline; W.L. Holden; F.G. Gardner; B.M. Schlosser; R.L. Siegrist; T.C. Houk. ORNL/CP-98459, NTIS: DE98003584, 9 pp.

Successful implementation of in situ chemical oxidation requires an effective means for dispersing the oxidant to contaminated regions in the subsurface. A technique has been developed in which an oxidant is added to extracted ground water, and the oxidant-laden ground water is then injected and recirculated into a contaminated aquifer through multiple horizontal and/or vertical wells. This technique is referred to as in situ chemical oxidation through recirculation (ISCOR). A field-scale test of ISCOR using a pair of parallel horizontal wells with 200-ft screened sections was conducted at Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant where ground water is contaminated with TCE.

In Situ Treatment of Mixed Contaminants in Groundwater: Application of Zero-Valence Iron and Palladized Iron for Treatment of Groundwater Contaminated with Trichloroethene and Technetium-99
1997. N.E. Korte; M.T. Muck; J.L. Zutman; R.M. Schlosser, Oak Ridge National Lab., Grand Junction, CO; and others. ORNL/TM--13530, NTIS: DE98007041, 114 pp.

Unit processes were packaged as modular components in vertical and/or horizontal recirculation wells for treatment of trichloroethene (TCE) and technetium (Tc-99) in ground water. The project objectives included evaluation of horizontal wells for inducing ground-water recirculation, development of below-ground treatment modules for simultaneous removal of VOCs and radionuclides, and demonstration of a coupled system (treatment module with recirculation well) at a DOE field site where both contaminants were present in the ground water. This report is limited to the innovative treatment aspects of the program.

Adobe PDF LogoIn-Well Vapor Stripping Technology. Innovative Technology Summary Report
2002. U.S. DOE, Office of Environmental Management. DOE/EM-0626, 50 pp.

In 1999, a UVB System was installed to remove chlorinated solvents from ground water at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY.

Adobe PDF LogoMACTEC, Inc., NoVOCs Technology: Technology Evaluation Report
2000. U.S. EPA, Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program. EPA 540-R-00-502a, 172 pp + appendixes D-F in separate volumes.

Adobe PDF LogoField Demonstration of In Situ Perchlorate Bioremediation at Building 1419
2004. R.J. Cramer, C. Yates, P. Hatzinger, and J. Diebold. NOSSA-TR-2004-001, 84 pp.

Adobe PDF LogoCapture Zone Analyses of Two Airlift Recirculation Wells in the Southern Sector of NM Area
S.E. Aleman and L.L. Hamm.
WSRC-TR-99-00203, 76 pp, 1999

Adobe PDF LogoDirect Push Groundwater Circulation Wells for Remediation of BTEX and Volatile Organics
R.C. Borden and R.S. Cherry.
INEEL/EXT-2000-01147, 78 pp, 2000

Adobe PDF LogoGroundwater Circulation Well (GCW) Technology Evaluation at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence, 80 pp, 1997

Hydrotechnics In Situ Flow Sensor: Technology Evaluation Report
U.S. EPA, Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program.
EPA 540-R-02-500, 227 pp, 2001

The Wasatch Environmental, Inc., ground-water circulation well is a dual-screened, in-well air-stripping system designed to remove volatile organic compounds from ground water using a ground-water flow pattern that forms a circulation cell. EPA evaluated the performance of ground-water velocity flow sensors in measuring the 3-D flow pattern created by operation of the GCW circulation cell. The sensors were developed at Sandia National Laboratories and manufactured by HydroTechnics, Inc.

Adobe PDF LogoTreatment of Chlorinated Aliphatic Contamination of Groundwater by Horizontal Recirculation Wells and by Constructed Vertical Flow Wetlands
M.L. Shelley, M.N. Goltz, J.P. Amon, and A. Agrawal.
AFIT-EN-TR-02-05, 68 pp, 2002

This work explores the remediation of chlorinated ethene solvents in ground water by means of ground-water circulation wells (GCWs) with downwell zero-valent metal reductive dechlorination reactors and constructed vertical subsurface-flow wetlands.

Bay Road Holdings, East Palo Alto (Formerly Romic)
U.S. EPA Region 9 Website

This site formerly served as a hazardous waste management facility for solvent recycling, fuel blending, wastewater treatment, and hazardous waste storage and treatment. VOCs (PCE, TCE, BTEX) have been detected at elevated concentrations in several site areas, and DNAPL is also believed to be present. The proposed treatment option to remediate VOC-impacted vadose zone soils calls for installation of horizontal injection wells connected to an in situ delivery (ISD™) groundwater recirculation system. The ISD will deliver anaerobic substrates (i.e., CarBstrate™) to the subsurface to promote complete anaerobic dechlorination of chlorinated VOCs, followed by MNA of residual contamination. Once monitoring data show that chlorinated VOCs have reached an asymptotic state, EPA will be petitioned for approval to allow ISD system changeover to deliver aerobic substrates (EZT-A2™ consortium, PetroSolv™ surfactant, and CBN ™ nutrient mix) to promote aerobic biodegradation of fuel-related compounds. An ISD groundwater recirculation system is also proposed to address VOC-impacted groundwater within the A-, B-, and C-zone aquifers beneath the site. Additional information: Remedial Design Plan 2014 Adobe PDF Logo; Recirculation Pilot Work Plan 2016Adobe PDF Logo; Envirostor reports

Adobe PDF LogoVoluntary Remediation Program Progress Report #5: Rheem Manufacturing Company, Milledgeville, Georgia
Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), 224 pp, 2016

A vacant building and an asphalt-paved parking lot now occupy a site used from 1978-2009 for the manufacturing of air conditioning units and furnaces. Following discovery in 1988 of a release of reclaimed TCE from a tank farm area, a groundwater recovery system, still in operation, was installed in 1989-1990. In addition to operation of P&T and SVE systems, operation of the property-line Accelerated Remediation Technology (ART) recirculation well system continued with three new wells (ART-6, ART-7, and ART-8) installed in February 2016 to extend the geographic reach of the ART system and further reduce flux of VOCs off site. The ART technology combines in situ air stripping, air sparging, SVE, and subsurface circulation and flushing. ART-1 and ART-2 were retired. The ART wells are located within the area of highest TCE concentrations detected in groundwater at the property's western boundary. The goal of the ART system is to reduce the mass flux of TCE exiting the property, allowing natural attenuation processes along the groundwater flow path to address the lesser VOC flux condition. TCE concentrations in groundwater passing through the well network are declining significantly. As of January 2016, SVE operations had removed an estimated total of 12,506 lb VOCs. To replace pump and treat, in situ biostimulation/bioaugmentation is planned for two areas of the property using emulsified vegetable oil and bioaugmentation culture introduced via injection wells and direct-push injections.

Adobe PDF LogoFirst Pilot Test on the Integration of GCW (Groundwater Circulation Well) with ENA (Enhanced Natural Attenuation) for Chlorinated Solvents Source Remediation
Papini, M.P., M. Majone, F. Arjmand, D. Silvestri, M. Sagliaschi, S. Sucato, E. Alesi, E. Barstch, and L. Pierro. Chemical Engineering Transactions 49:91-96(2016)

Investigators tested the possibility of using a groundwater circulation well (GCW) to enhance in situ bioremediation in an operating industrial site affected by different chlorinated solvents (concentrations up to 100 mg/L) in a complex hydrogeological saturated zone. A GCW at 30 m depth with three screen sections was designed and installed at the site for pilot testing. Groundwater pumped toward two screen sections of the GCW was reinjected into the aquifer by another screen section after passing through an external unit treatment comprising a sand filter tank and two reactors: one filled with a biodegradable polymer (PHB) and the other with a mixture of ZVI and PHB. Results from the first 8 months of operation demonstrated how groundwater recirculation through the PHB reactor allowed continuous delivery of electron donors that enhanced contaminant mobilization and stimulated natural attenuation processes.

Remediation of Persistent Arsenic Groundwater Contamination in a Fractured Rock Aquifer in a Coastal Area by Using IEG-GCQW® Groundwater Circulation
Papini, M.P., G. Rehner, P. Ciampi, E.J. Alesi, E. Bartsch, M. Pellegrini, S. Olivieri, F. Bonfanti, and G. Liali. | AquaConSoil 2021, 15-17 June, virtual, abstract only, 2021

Groundwater contaminated with arsenic (As) from a major incident at a fertilizer manufacturing site represented a significant environmental problem ~45 years after the event. After a major explosion, a portion of As was transported vertically into the fractured rock formation of the aquifer, where the deposits continue to act as an active secondary source contaminating the groundwater. Traditional pump and treat technology managed and reduced the impact of contamination outside site boundaries. However, a significant mass of As was trapped in the fractured aquifer contaminating groundwater up to 40 m bgs. Groundwater Circulation Well (GCW) technology was chosen to enhance As mobilization in the source area. A pilot plant consisting of a 40 m deep IEG-GCW®, equipped with 4 screens at different depths and a treatment system to remove dissolved As by oxidation and filtration on Macrolite, was started in 2020. The hydraulic effectiveness of the IEG-GCW® in a fractured rock aquifer (pumping rate ~2.5 m3 /h and ROI ~15 m) and the capability to increase pollutant mobilization significantly compared to the traditional pumping wells were demonstrated within the first few months of operation. Results showed that upconing of the coastal saltwater present at 45 m bgl could be controlled and reverted using a properly designed GCW. The pilot test is ongoing and will generate general design parameters for the remediation plan for industrial sites in coastal areas with fractured rock aquifers.

Remediation of Chlorinated Aliphatic Hydrocarbons (CAHS) Contaminated Site Coupling Groundwater Recirculation Well (IEG-GCW®) with a Peripheral Injection of Soluble Nutrient Supplement (IEG-C-MIX) via Multilevel-Injection Wells (IEG-MIW)
Ciampi, P., C. Esposito, E. Bartsch, E.J. Alesi, G. Rehner, and M.P. Papini. Heliyon 8(11):e11402(2022)

An innovative Groundwater Circulation Well (GCW) process was configured, installed, and tested to optimize the distribution of a soluble nutrient supplement in a heterogeneous aquifer for reductive dehalogenation. The process generated an in-situ bioreactor for enhanced treatment of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs). The novel system combined a vertical recirculation well (IEG-GCW) and four multilevel injection wells (IEG-MIWs) to introduce the carbon solution into a TCE-contaminated aquifer site in Barcelona, Spain. A 12 m deep IEG-GCW equipped with two screened sections was located in the center of the four IEG-MIWs. The GCW-induced flow moves the groundwater in an ellipsoidal recirculation cell to spread the supplements from the central GCW and from the peripheral MIWs in the aquifer body. Two multilevel sampling wells (IEG-MLSWs®) in the radius of influence monitor the remediation process to capture hydrochemical variations along the vertical aquifer sections. A multi-source model harmonizes geological and hydrochemical information during different remediation stages, guiding the adaptation of the remediation strategy to physicochemical conditions and unmasking the decontamination mechanics induced by the remedial actions. Hydrochemical monitoring of MLWS and the stable carbon isotopic signature of cis-1,2-DCE and VC show the mobilization of secondary contamination sources triggered by recirculation during remediation, the stimulation of microbiological activity following nutrient supplement via GCW and MIWs, and the strong decrease of CAHs concentrations at different aquifer levels. Evidence from the first application at the field scale shows a significant increase in the chloroethane biodegradation rate and the short-term effectiveness of the strategy. GCW-MIWs synergy represents a promising strategy to degrade CAHs in a shorter period by combining a controllable hydraulic system, effective nutrient distribution, and monitoring of the remediation process.