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ENGINEERING ISSUE: IN SITU BIOREMEDIATION OF CONTAMINATED UNSATURATED SUBSURFACE SOILS
Sims, J. L., R. C. Sims, R. R. Dupont, J. E. Matthews*, AND H. H. Russell*. ENGINEERING ISSUE: IN SITU BIOREMEDIATION OF CONTAMINATED UNSATURATED SUBSURFACE SOILS. EPA/540/S-93/501, 1993.
An emerging technology for the remediation of unsaturated subsurface soils involves the use of microorganisms to degrade contaminants which are present in such soils. Understanding the processes which drive in situ bioremediation, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of the utilization of these systems, are issues which have been identified by the Regional Superfund Engineering Forum as concerns of Superfund decision makers. The Regional Superfund Engineering Forum is a group of EPA professionals, representing EPA's Regional Superfund Offices, committed to the identification and resolution of engineering issues impacting the remediation of Superfund sites. The Forum is supported by and advises the Superfund Technical Support Project. Although in situ bioremediation has been used for a number of years in the restoration of ground water contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons, it has only been in recent years that in situ systems have been directed toward contaminants in unsaturated subsurface soils. Research has contributed greatly to understanding the biotic, chemical, and hydrologic parameters which contribute to or restrict the application of in situ bioremediation and has been successful at a number of locations in demonstrating its effectiveness at field scale. This document is one in a series of engineering issue papers which have been prepared in response to needs expressed by the engineering Forum. It is based on findings from the research community in concert with experience gained at sites undergoing remediation. The intent of the document is to provide an overview of the factors involved in in situ bioremediation, outline the types of information required in the application of such systems, and point out the advantages and limitations of this technology.