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Abstract

Adding activated carbon to sediments has been shown to be an effective means of reducing the bioavailability of certain contaminants. The current state of the practice is to mechanically mix activated carbon to a target concentration of 3 percent at depths of approximately 30 cm using a rotovator or similar construction equipment. Waterjets have been used to cut hard material using a mixture of water and an abrasive. If activated carbon is substituted for the abrasive, waterjets have the potential to use surface injection as a replacement for mechanical mixing during sediment remediation. A perceived benefit of waterjet-based sediment remediation is that there may be a reduced potential for benthic organism mortality related to amendment delivery. A set of waterjet parameters were identified that have the potential to achieve amendment placement goals, and a series of waterjet tests were conducted to evaluate the potential impact on the benthic community. The tests included mortality testing using a swimming macroinvertebrate and a burrowing invertebrate, benthic artifacts such as shells, and craft foam as a surrogate for living organisms. The results indicated that the immediate survivability was typically greater than 50 percent, and that empirical relationships between two variables (waterjet nozzle diameter and the water column height between the nozzle and the target) and the depth of cut in the foam could be established. Data are not available in the literature for direct comparison of organism survivability immediately after mechanical mixing, but the results of this study provide motivation for the further evaluation of waterjets on the basis of the low observed mortality rates. Future waterjet work may address field-scale characterization of mixing effectiveness, resuspension potential, technical feasibility, and cost. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.