QED Environmental Systems

DNAPL Characterization Methods and Approaches, Part 2: Cost Comparisons`, Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation

Contamination from the use of chlorinated solvents, often classified as dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) when in an undissolved state, pose environmental threats to ground water resources worldwide. DNAPL site characterization method performance comparisons are presented in a companion paper (Kram et al. 2001). This study compares the costs for implementing various characterization approaches using synthetic unit model scenarios (UMSs), each with particular physical characteristics. Unit costs and assumptions related to labor, equipment, and consumables are applied to determine costs associated with each approach for various UMSs. In general, the direct-push sensor systems provide cost-effective characterization information in soils that are penetrable with relatively shallow (less than 10 to 15 m) water tables. For sites with impenetrable lithology using direct-push techniques, the Ribbon NAPL Sampler Flexible Liner Underground Technologies Everting (FLUTe) membrane appears to be the most cost-effective approach. For all scenarios studied, partitioning interwell tracer tests (PITTs) are the most expensive approach due to the extensive pre- and post-PITT requirements. However, the PITT is capable of providing useful additional information, such as approximate DNAPL saturation, which is not generally available from any of the other approaches included in this comparison.

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