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Estimating Fate and Transport of Multiple Contaminants in the Vadose Zone Using a Multi-Layered Soil Column and Three-Phase Equilibrium Partitioning Model

[+] Author Affiliations
Gregory G. Rucker

Washington Savannah River Company, Aiken, SC

Paper No. ICEM2007-7150, pp. 1291-1298; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/ICEM2007-7150
From:
  • The 11th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • 11th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Parts A and B
  • Bruges, Belgium, September 2–6, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4339-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3818-8
  • Copyright © 2007 by Washington Savannah River Company

abstract

Soils at waste sites must be evaluated for the potential of residual soil contamination to leach and migrate to the groundwater beneath the disposal area. If migration to the aquifer occurs, contaminants can travel vast distances and pollute drinking water wells, thus exposing human receptors to harmful levels of toxins and carcinogens. To prevent groundwater contamination, a contaminant fate and transport analysis is necessary to assess the migration potential of residual soil contaminants. This type of migration analysis is usually performed using a vadose zone model to account for complex geotechnical and chemical variables including: decay processes, infiltration rate, soil properties, vadose zone thickness, and chemical behavior. The distinct advantage of using a complex model is that less restrictive, but still protective, soil threshold levels may be determined avoiding the unnecessary and costly remediation of marginally contaminated soils. However, the disadvantage of such modeling is the additional cost for data collection and labor required to apply these models. In order to allay these higher costs and to achieve a less restrictive but still protective clean-up level, a multiple contaminant and multi layered soil column equilibrium partitioning model was developed which is faster, simpler and less expensive to use.

Copyright © 2007 by Washington Savannah River Company

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