Test area North Chloroethene source area remediation project


Courtesy of JRW Bioremediation, LLC


  • A contaminant source area resulted from the injection of chlorinated solvent-containing liquid waste and sanitary sewage to the Snake River Plain Aquifer from the mid-195s to 1972.
  • The source is primarily an organic sludge containing up to 3% TCE. The sludge is present in the fractured basalt surrounding the former injection wells.
  • A plume of TCE in groundwater approximately 2 miles long exists from 200-400 ft below ground surface.
  • The 1995 ROD selected pump & treat as the default remedy for source area remediation.
  • Enhanced bioremediation was identified in the 1995 ROD as an innovative technology to be evaluated through a post-ROD treatability study to potentially replace pump & treat in the residual source area.


  • An enhanced bioremediation field test using WILCLEAR Sodium Lactate to stimulate anaerobic reductive dechlorination (ARD) of a TCE
  • source area began in 1998. Within 6 weeks, TCE in source area
  • wells was dechlorinated to cis-DCE and complete dechlorination to ethene was occurring in less than 4 months.
  • Complete ARD of TCE to ethene has reduced dissolved phase concentrations to TCE below detection limits in source area wells.
  • In addition to supporting complete and efficient ARD of TCE, injection of high concentrations of lactate also enhanced the bioavailability of TCE from the source material, thus accelerating clean up of the source term.
  • A ROD Amendment selecting enhanced bioremediation for source area remediation was signed in September 2001; the estimated cost savings to DOE is $23 M over 30 years.
  • Analysis of field data will be used to optimize distribution of the selected electron donor, WILCLEAR Sodium Lactate WILCLEAR Sodium Lactate, throughout the source area to favor the most efficient TCE-dechlorinating microbial community.
  • The innovative source area remediation process developed at INEEL, Bioavailability Enhancement Technology (B.E.T. ™, patent #
  • 6,783,678 B2), has been commercialized and licensed to North Wind Environmental, Inc.

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