Bioremediation Removes Environmental Stigma for Resort

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Although environmental contamination is far from our minds when we think of Florida resort properties, leaking underground storage tanks can contaminate soil and groundwater, and prevent property financing and redevelopment. Microbial bioremediation has recently been used at two Florida resorts to restore the property’s environmental condition.

Universal Engineering Sciences, environmental consultants in Orlando, FL, used microbes to remediate ground water at a resort hotel in Winter Park, FL. A leaking heating oil tank contaminated the ground water with the total recoverable hydrocarbons up to 300,000 parts per billion (ppb). The hydrocarbons found on the site included benzene, xylene, 1-methylaphthalene, 2-methylaphthalene and other petroleum hydrocarbons.

A total of 110 gallons of Petrox, a consortium of non-pathogenic, naturally occurring bacterial strains, were injected in 12 small-diameter injection points. Sampling conducted a month later showed that all contaminants were reduced to Florida’s groundwater cleanup target levels. The total recoverable petroleum hydrocarbons were reduced to 1,000 ppb.

Bioremediation also restored groundwater quality at an island resort in the Keys. Hydrologic Associated USA, Inc., environmental consultants in Miami, FL implemented the remediation of groundwater contaminated by leaking underground storage tanks. The one-acre groundwater plume contained gasoline and heating oil constituents. The main contaminants were benzene at (381 ppb), naphthalene (188 ppb), xylene (4,880 ppb) and MTBE (3,650 ppb). The groundwater was approximately two feet below ground surface in an organic-rich silty sand formation typical of mangrove areas.

Hydrologic Associates inoculated the groundwater through shallow injection points placed less than 15 feet apart. The high density of injection points was used to maximize the distribution of the microbes in the groundwater. The initial inoculation was 500 gallons of microbes.

Groundwater samples after the first inoculation showed the contaminant concentrations were reduced by 95 percent or greater. The concentration decreased benzene to 9 ppb, naphthalene to 3 ppb, xylene to 14 ppb and MTBE to 78 ppb.

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