The study compares the ability and cost effectiveness of granular activated carbon and packed tower aeration (air stripping) in removing synthetic organic and volatile organic chemicals (SOCs and VOCs) from a contaminated groundwater source in Wausau, WI. Among the SOCs and VOCs identified and targeted for removal were cis-1,2-dichloroethene, trichloroethene, tetrachlorethene, and toluene. A liquid-phase GAC pilot-plant, full-scale GAS adsorber, and a full-scale air stripping tower were designed, built, and operated to provide data so that the process performance could be evaluated. Extensive laboratory studies were performed. Mathematical models and correlations, for obtaining kinetic parameters and single solute isotherm parameters were developed and tested by comparing their results to those obtained from the pilot-plant. Possible surrogate parameters were investigated. Cost estimates are compared.