Pulsed-Waterjet Soil Perforator

EPA Contract Number: 68D60056
Title: Pulsed-Waterjet Soil Perforator
Investigators: Lilley, Ron
Small Business: Waterjet Technology Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: September 1, 1996 through February 1, 1998
Project Amount: $224,891
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (1996) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


In situ treatment of soil and groundwater contamination is currently limited to a few sites with uniformly high soil conductivity. The widespread application of low-cost, low-impact in situ remediation requires controlled access to the subsurface in tight and heterogeneous soils. In a Phase I study, Waterjet Technology, Inc., has demonstrated that an ultrahigh-pressure pulsed-waterjet (PWJ) system can be used to rapidly perforate soil to a predictable, uniform depth. This study showed that a perforation depth of 10 m is feasible in a variety of soils including hard clay and heterogeneous alluvium. A PWJ perforator could be deployed at the surface for rapid aeration and well installation in the vadose zone, or a borehole for lateral perforation of groundwater wells in tight or heterogeneous formations. This approach provides rapid, low-cost access to the subsurface, which is safe, environmentally sound and minimizes the exposure of workers and the public to contaminants. The Phase II project will include the development and testing of a prototype PWJ perforator designed for surface or borehole applications. The proposed work will culminate with a field demonstration of PWJ soil perforation within the Department of Energy national laboratory complex.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, engineering., Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Contaminated Sediments, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Groundwater remediation, Environmental Engineering, sediment treatment, wells, in situ remediation, soil and groundwater remediation, in situ treatment, contaminated sediment, remediation, groundwater contamination, pulsed waterjet, soil perferator, groundwater

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final