How Bioremediation Solves Problem

At approximately 400,000 sites in the United States, soil and groundwater are contaminated with chlorinated solvents (Sutfin 1996). Chlorinated solvents have been widely used as degreasers in various industries for more than 30 years. Past disposal methods and handling practices for chlorinated solvents have contributed to wide spread CAH contamination in soil and groundwater. For example, one practice involved returning spent solvents to a drum. Once the drum was full, it was then closed and buried in a pit with other drums. The drums eventually corroded and their contents leaked onto the soil and subsequently migrated to groundwater aquifers. In situ bioremediation is used as an alternative to such traditional methods as groundwater pump-andtreat for treating groundwater contaminant plumes. In situ bioremediation was first observed as natural destruction of petroleum hydrocarbons in polluted groundwater aquifers. It later was discovered that microorganisms could also break down CAHs. CAH degradation is typically accomplished through one of the following treatment technologies: injection and extraction, air- or biosparging, and biological reactive walls.

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