EPA uses many methods to clean up pollution at Superfund and other sites. Pump and treat (P&T) is a common method for cleaning up groundwater. To remove polluted water from underground, an extraction system is built, usually consisting of one or more wells equipped with pumps. When the pumps are turned on, they pull the polluted groundwater into the wells and up to the surface. At the surface, the extracted water may undergo treatment via numerous methods (e.g. air stripping, GAC, ion exchange) to meet discharge requirements for specific contaminants. Following treatment (if necessary), the extracted water can be discharged to a surface water; reinjected into the subsurface; discharged to a municipal treatment plant; or reused in agricultural or industrial processes.
P&T systems are generally constructed and operated to accomplish one or more of the following:
- Containment: prevent migration of a constituent above a selected concentration to a receptor or potential receptor
- Aquifer restoration: remove contaminant mass, including non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) if present, from an aquifer to achieve selected cleanup criteria
- Meet requirements for the discharged water, and possibly discharged air, depending on the system
An appropriately designed P&T system should achieve the ground water remedy goals in a cost-effective manner for the operating life of the system. Therefore, the design of the P&T system should account for the capital costs associated with system installation as well as the annual costs for operation and maintenance (O&M). System design generally occurs after site characterization has been completed and usually consists of the following steps:
- Considering remedy goals and associated performance monitoring requirements
- Establishing design parameters (e.g., system flow rate and influent concentrations)
- Selecting appropriate ground water collection/extraction methods
- Selecting appropriate technologies for treatment of each class of constituents
- Determining an appropriate option for discharge of treated water
- Incorporating appropriate system controls and automation
This course is intended for environmental engineers who are involved with remediation of sites having contaminated groundwater. Course material is based on US EPA publication 542-R-05-008.
To earn PDH credits the student must pass a multiple choice quiz consisting of twenty-five (25) questions.
Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained
This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:
- Remedy goals: containment, aquifer restoration, and meeting discharge requirements
- System design parameters based on flow and contaminant concentration
- Calculating design mass loading/removal rate for a contaminant
- Special considerations for non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL)
- Extraction system components: wells, wellheads, pumps, and pipes
- Treatment options for various phases or classes of contaminants: pros and cons
- Calculation of preliminary GAC design estimates
- Discharge options: surface water; publicly owned treatment works (POTW); reinjection to subsurface; or reuse for agricultural or industrial processes
- Guidance for redundant and spare equipment, alarms, controls automation, and remote monitoring
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