Title
Containment of groundwater pollution (methyl tertiary butyl ether and benzene) to protect a drinking-water production site in Belgium
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Bioscience Engineering
Publication type
article
Publication
Berlin ,
Subject
Physics
Biology
Source (journal)
Hydrogeology journal. - Berlin
Volume/pages
18(2010) :8 , p. 1917-1925
ISSN
1431-2174
ISI
000284599200012
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The subsurface migration of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and benzene towards a drinking-water production site in Belgium was monitored for 9 years. A large gasoline spill at a nearby fuel station had caused a 500-m long and 50-m-wide pollution plume of MTBE (10-30 mg/L) and benzene (2-10 mg/L). In order to prevent any intrusion of pollutants into the drinking-water supply, a conceptual model was used to design a pump-and-treat system that intercepted the gasoline-contaminated groundwater emanating from the spill. The contaminated soil in the spill zone was excavated. A numerical mass transport model was developed to evaluate the ongoing plume containment. The model describes the subsurface MTBE migration and was regularly updated, based on groundwater monitoring data and the measured mass of MTBE extracted with the pump-and-treat system. With continued interception pumping, the MTBE plume can be remediated in 14 years. Without it, MTBE and benzene concentrations up to 600 mu g/L could have reached the drinking-water production site and the plume would persist for 9 years longer. Source zone treatment combined with plume interception pumping is a suitable risk-based remediation strategy for the containment of MTBE and benzene groundwater pollution.
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