Using bioaugmentation to reduce risks and costs associated with vapor intrusion


Courtesy of CL Solutions, LLC

The risk driver for remedial action on many sites is potential vapor intrusion hazard. While mitigation of the vapors entering the structure can reduce the risk to an acceptable level, there are associated long-term monitoring, operation and maintenance costs. Bioremediation of the source of vapors can reduce the risk and eliminate long-term costs.

The vapor intrusion risk is managed by mitigation using a vapor barrier beneath the building, capturing vapors from the soil beneath the building, or capturing the vapors in the lowest level of the structure. These mitigation measures eliminate the routes of human exposure, but require on-going operation, monitoring and maintenance. Furthermore there is an on-going exposure risk if there is a containment failure. Alternatively, bioremediation can destroy the contamination
in place so the current and future risk of vapor intrusion is eliminated.

An important benefit of CL-Out bioremediation of chlorinated solvents is that CL-Out® does not produce more harmful daughter products. The reductive dechlorination of PCE and TCE can lead to the accumulation of vinyl chloride as a daughter product. Because vinyl chloride is a more volatile gas and has a higher toxicity profile than its parent compounds, incomplete
reductive dechlorination can increase the vapor intrusion risk. CL-Out bioremediation, on the other hand, breaks the carbon bond so that vinyl chloride is not generated, which reduces the associated risks.

CL-Out undergoes a thorough quality control procedure so that you can rely on it to be safe for your workers, workers at businesses on the property and residents of the property. CL-Out is a certified partner in the US EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) program.

CL-Out has been used at more than one hundred sites across the US to remediate chlorinated solvents in soil and ground water. At the following three site case studies, CL-Out bioremediation was selected for remediation over other alternatives because of the potential vapor intrusion risks.


At the Redfield Site in Colorado, a groundwater plume of PCE, TCE, TCA, and DCE extended more than one mile offsite and up to 1200 feet in width. With numerous residences over the plume, there was a concern for potential vapor intrusion. CL-Out bioremediation was selected as part of the EnviroGroup’s strategy for reducing the source of potential vapors. CL-Out was
implemented down gradient of the source area to reduce the size of the plume and potential vapor intrusion risk.

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