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

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

For more information on Soil Vapor Extraction Optimization, please contact:

Jim Cummings
Technology Assessment Branch

PH: 202-566-0868 | Email:

Soil Vapor Extraction


Adobe PDF LogoAnalysis of Selected Enhancements for Soil Vapor Extraction
EPA 542-R-97-007, 1997

This report provides an engineering analysis of, and status report on, selected enhancements for the following soil vapor extraction (SVE) treatment technologies: air sparging, dual-phase extraction, directional drilling, pneumatic and hydraulic fracturing, and thermal enhancement. It also offers an evaluation of each technology's applicability to various site conditions, cost and performance information, a list of vendors specializing in the technologies, a discussion of relative strengths and limitations of the technologies, recommendations to keep in mind when considering the enhancements, and extensive references.

Adobe PDF LogoCommissioning and Demonstration for Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) Systems
2001. USACE/NAVFAC/AFCESA Unified Facilities Guide Specification UFGS-01810A, 35 pp.

Adobe PDF LogoDevelopment of Recommendations and Methods to Support Assessment of Soil Venting Performance and Closure
2001. DiGiulio, Dominic C.; Ravi Varadhan. Report No: EPA 600-R-01-070, 435 pp.

Adobe PDF LogoEngineering and Design: Soil Vapor Extraction and Bioventing
2002. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, EM 1110-1-4001, 424 pp.

This Engineer Manual provides practical guidance for evaluating the feasibility and applicability of SVE and bioventing for remediating contaminated soil and describes design and operational considerations for treatment systems.

Adobe PDF LogoEnhanced Attenuation Technologies: Passive Soil Vapor Extraction
R. Kamath, D.T. Adamson, and C.J. Newell.
SRNL-STI-2009-00571, 88 pp, 2009

Passive soil vapor extraction (PSVE) usually is driven by natural pressure gradients between the subsurface and atmosphere (barometric pumping) and sometimes by renewable sources of energy, such as wind or solar power (assisted PSVE). PSVE is applicable for remediating sites with low levels of contamination and for transitioning sites from active source technologies, such as active SVE, to natural attenuation. This technology report summarizes the relevant technical background, real-world case study performance, key design and cost considerations, and a scenario-based cost evaluation.

Evaluation of Soil Venting Application
DiGiulio, D.C.
EPA 540-S-92-004, 7 pp, 1992

While the application of soil vacuum extraction is conceptually simple, its success depends on understanding complex subsurface physical, chemical, and biological processes, such as contaminant volatility, mass transport limitations, and soil permeability and liquid content, that provide insight into factors limiting venting performance.

Adobe PDF LogoGreen Remediation Best Management Practices: Soil Vapor Extraction and Other Air-Driven Systems
EPA 542-F-22-002, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Principles for Greener Cleanups outline the Agency's policy for evaluating and minimizing the environmental footprint of activities involved in cleaning up contaminated sites. Use of the best management practices (BMPs) recommended in EPA's series of green remediation fact sheets can help project managers and other stakeholders apply the principles on a routine basis, while maintaining the cleanup objectives, ensuring protectiveness of a remedy, and improving its environmental outcome. Soil vapor extraction (SVE) is used at certain sites to address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are sorbed to soil within the unsaturated zone. An SVE system extracts air from, or sometimes injects air into, the vadose zone to strip the VOCs from soil and transfer the vapors to an aboveground treatment system for destruction or recovery. In contrast, air sparging (AS) involves injecting air into contaminated groundwater to drive volatile and semi-volatile contaminants into the overlying vadose zone by way of volatilization. The vapors are then removed from the vadose zone, typically by a co-located SVE system. Cleanup at some sites also may require mitigation of vapor intrusion (VI) into nearby buildings until remediation of soil or groundwater is complete.

Adobe PDF LogoGuidance for Design, Installation and Operation of Soil Venting Systems
2002. Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, Madison, WI. PUB-RR-185, 64 pp.

Adobe PDF LogoHorizontal Remediation Wells
Appendix A in How to Evaluate Alternative Cleanup Technologies for Underground Storage Tank Sites: A Guide for Corrective Action Plan Reviewers
EPA 510-B-17-003, 47 pp, 2017

Horizontal directional drilling can be used to install horizontal remediation wells (HRWs) at cleanup sites. The technology uses specialized equipment to produce either a curved surface-to-surface well or a blind well. HRWs are able to access locations beneath surface obstructions and to place long well screens in contact with the contaminated area. The wells can be thousands of feet long, with hundreds of feet of well screen. The potential for HRWs to complement a site remedy is described with reference to air sparging, bioremediation, chemical injection, soil vapor extraction, hot air or steam injection, LNAPL removal, plume containment, injection of treated water, and sampling. A detailed overview is provided of equipment and procedures for drilling a horizontal remediation well. Additional information: The complete UST CAP review manual

Adobe PDF LogoInnovative Site Remediation Technology: Design & Application, Volume 7: Vacuum Extraction and Air Sparging
1998. American Academy of Environmental Engineers, Annapolis, MD. Prepared by WASTECH, a cooperative project managed by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers with grant assistance from the U.S. EPA, DoD, and DOE.

Describes specific details of design, construction, and operation of air sparging (AS) and SVE systems, including potential enhancements to vapor extraction technology.

Adobe PDF LogoMichigan Soil Vapor Extraction Remediation (MISER) Model: a Computer Program to Model Soil Vapor Extraction and Bioventing of Organic Chemicals in Unsaturated Geological Material
EPA 600-R-97-099, 1997. L.M. Abriola; J. Lang; K. Rathfelder, Michigan University, Ann Arbor. NTIS: PB98-115355INZ, 264 pp.

A four-page Project Summary is available online in PDF at the RSKERL Subsurface Remediation Information Center.

Minimum Design Requirements and Common Accepted Engineering Practices: Soil Vapor Extraction and Bioventing Systems
1998. Groundwater Pollution Control Program Guideline #5, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Water Quality Division.

Adobe PDF LogoOff-Gas Treatment Technologies for Soil Vapor Extraction Systems: State of the Practice
EPA 542-R-05-028, March 2006

This document provides state-of-the-practice information on off-gas treatment technologies for soil vapor extraction systems currently being used to clean up hazardous waste sites. It provides information on common practices such as carbon adsorption and thermal oxidation, less frequently used technologies such as biofiltration, and emerging alternatives including photocatalytic and non-thermal plasma treatment. The report presents the state of the practice for these technologies based on applicability, limitations, performance, engineering considerations, residuals management, cost and economics, and developmental status.

Adobe PDF LogoOperation, Maintenance, and Process Monitoring for Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) Systems
2018. USACE/NAVFAC/AFCESA Unified Facilities Guide Specification UFGS-02 62 16.13 10, 30 pp.

Optimal Control of Soil Venting: Mathematical Modeling and Applications
1999. Gerke, Horst H.; U. Hornung; Y. Kelanemer; M. Slodicka; S. Schumacher. Birkhäuser Verlag, Boston, ISBN: 0817660410, International Series of Numerical Mathematics, Vol 127, 168 pp.

Adobe PDF LogoProven Technologies and Remedies Guidance: Remediation of Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds in Vadose Zone Soil
Berscheid, M., K. Burger, N. Hutchison, H. Muniz-Ghazi, B. Renzi, P. Ruttan, and S. Sterling.
California Department of Toxic Substances Control, 154 pp, 2010

Presents an option for expediting and encouraging cleanup of sites with chlorinated VOCs in vadose zone soil by streamlining the cleanup process. This approach limits the number of evaluated technologies to excavation/disposal and SVE and provides resources to facilitate the design and implementation of both remedies. Considerations for operation and maintenance of SVE systems, including zone of capture assessment, operational assessment, and shutdown and cleanup confirmation are included.

Adobe PDF LogoSoil Vapor Extraction Implementation Experiences: Engineering Forum Issue Paper
EPA 540-F-95-030, 1995

This fact sheet identifies issues and summarizes experiences with soil vapor extraction (SVE) as a remedy for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in soils. The issues presented here reflect discussions with over 30 Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) and technical experts. This fact sheet has been developed jointly by the the Engineering Forum and Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, with assistance from the Office of Research and Development.

Adobe PDF LogoSoil Vapor Extraction Subsurface Performance Checklist
1999. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 8 pp.

Adobe PDF LogoSoil Vapor Extraction System Optimization, Transition, and Closure Guidance
Truex, M.J., D.J. Becker, M.A. Simon, M. Oostrom, A.K. Rice, and C.D. Johnson.
PNNL-21843, 130 pp, 2013

After an SVE system begins to show indications of diminishing contaminant removal rate, SVE performance is evaluated to determine whether the system should be optimized, terminated, or transitioned to another technology to replace or augment SVE. This text specifically addresses the elements of this type of performance assessment to clarify and focus on the specific actions and decisions related to SVE optimization, transition, and/or closure. The Soil Vapor Extraction Endstate Tool (SVEET) is a spreadsheet tool that allows the user to easily enter data and calculate the estimated groundwater concentration for one or more scenarios conforming to the generalized conceptual model described in the report. This software provides a convenient method for the user to apply the calculation procedures described in Appendix C of the guidance report (which also walks through an example calculation). Appendix D of the report provides details about the SVEET software, including system requirements, installation, the user interface, and application of the software.

Adobe PDF LogoUnited States Air Force Environmental Restoration Program: Guidance on Soil Vapor Extraction Optimization
Parsons Engineering Science, Inc., for the Technology Transfer Division of the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence. NTIS: ADA392205, 90 pp.