Examining the economics of remediation by fluid injection with vacuum extraction



Enhanced methods of in-situ remediation based on patented technology involving fluid injection with vacuum extraction have been used successfully at the Sand Creek Superfund Site in Commerce City, Colorado. Approximately 177,000 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were removed from the subsurface in six months, two months ahead of schedule. Remediation goals were achieved on this thermally enhanced soil vapor extraction project by using vertical and horizontal wells interchangeably in vacuum or pressure service for vapor extraction, dual vacuum extraction, heated vapor reinjection, and air sparging. Although VOCs consisted of mixed chlorinated and petroleum hydrocarbons, the petroleum hydrocarbons, some in the form of nonaqueous phase liquids, had not been fully characterized. This article examines the evolution of the remedial design from that conceptualized in the Record of Decision (ROD) of the U.S. EPA, presents the rationale for the selection of alternative system components, and provides a cost analysis of the selected remedial technology, with comparisons to that of alternatives considered for use at Sand Creek.