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Creative Approach to Leaking Underground Storage Tank Site

Creative Approach to Leaking UST Site

Farallon proposed a creative approach to a leaking underground storage tank site

When multiple attempts to treat recalcitrant contaminants with conventional technologies failed, Farallon proposed using surfactant injection to increase mobility and recoverability of light nonaqueous-phase liquid (LNAPL) at a historical leaking underground storage tank site.

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Surfactant injection, an innovative remedial alternative, can increase mobilization of LNAPL and ease of capture to reduce the cost and duration of attaining a No Further Action determination.

Farallon understood that reduced mobility of weathered LNAPL had created a roadblock on the path to effective remediation. Additionally, because of the proximity of the site to the ocean, tidal influence increased the smear zone of the LNAPL at the top of the water table. Traditional or presumptive remedial alternatives that were employed included skimming, dual-phase extraction, and passive skimming, but each option failed to mobilize LNAPL and move the site toward closure. Surfactants are known to reduce surface tension between LNAPL and water and increase recoverability of LNAPL. Farallon evaluated multiple remedial alternatives in a feasibility study, and surfactant injection was approved by the oversight agency. Farallon conducted a pilot study to demonstrate surfactant injection is a feasible remedial alternative and study the aquifer characteristics at the site. Surfactant was injected into a well with LNAPL, and Farallon observed the dispersion of LNAPL into the water table as the LNAPL layer disappeared and groundwater changed color. Pumping the recovery well reduced the color of the groundwater and indicated surfactant and dispersed LNAPL had been removed. Farallon currently is preparing a full-scale surfactant injection work plan for the site for agency approval.

“The sandy soil at the site provides the perfect condition for a large capture zone from pumping. The injected surfactant will mobilize the residual and mobile LNAPL for easy recovery. Cleanup time will be reduced from years to months with this technology, which will save the client money,” said Senior Engineer Matt Nusenow, who manages the project.

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Contaminated Site Investigation and Cleanup

Over the past 20 years we have developed a top-tier team of technical professionals including experts in contaminant fate and transport characterization, modeling, and remediation engineering who have successfully developed and...

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Engineering Services

We take a collaborative approach, working with our clients to provide practical engineering solutions to achieve their project goals. Our engineering expertise is extensive and includes a broad spectrum of services.

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Underground and Aboveground Storage Tank Investigation and Remediation

Related services include affected groundwater cleanup, vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation, litigation support, tank registration and upgrade requirement evaluation, and spill prevention control and countermeasure planning.

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headshot of J. Riley Conkin J. Riley Conkin Principal Geologist

Riley is a licensed geologist and licensed hydrogeologist in Washington with more than 25 years of experience in contaminant hydrogeology and cleanup. His expertise includes investigation and delineation of...

headshot of Matt Nusenow Matt Nusenow Principal Engineer, Irvine Office Manager

Matt has more than 30 years of experience in construction and remediation projects for industrial and government clients. He has expertise in the characterization, evaluation, selection, design, and...

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