Methodology for Comparing Source and Plume Remediation Alternatives



It is often difficult at contaminated sites to decide whether remediation effort should be focused on the contaminant source, the dissolved plume, or on both zones. The decision process at these sites is hampered by a lack of quantitative tools for comparing remediation alternatives. A new screening-level mass balance approach is developed for simulating the transient effects of simultaneous ground water source and plume remediation. The contaminant source model is based on a power function relationship between source mass and source discharge, and it can consider partial source remediation at any time after the initial release. The source model serves as a time-dependent mass flux boundary condition to a new analytical plume model, where flow is assumed to be one dimensional, with three-dimensional dispersion. The plume model simulates first-order sequential decay and production of several species, and the decay rates and parent/daughter yield coefficients are variable functions of time and distance. This new method allows for flexible simulation of natural attenuation or remediation efforts that enhance plume degradation. The plume remediation effort may be temporary or delayed in time, limited in space, and it may have different chemical effects on different contaminant species in the decay chain.