State Street Reconstruction | Madison, WI

Unique Treatment Tackles Contamination

Jayne Englebert, PG, CPG | with 0 Comments

Unique Treatment Tackles Contamination

Remediating soil contamination at a former dry cleaning business site in Wisconsin proved challenging because of the tight, silty clay soils and high contaminant concentrations.  With an estimated cost of more than $500,000, a typical soil excavation remedy was ruled out.  Evaluation of several soil remedial options, ultimately led to a unique, in-ground solid blending treatment that’s been used only a few times in Wisconsin and is less than half of the cost of other alternatives.

Investigating former dry cleaners properties and developing treatment alternatives can be a long process.  The process can require numerous soil borings, groundwater monitoring wells and vapor sampling in the surrounding the property. 

The analysis of the Wisconsin property indicated that the soil contamination was limited to the southeast corner of the property and the adjacent alley right of way.  High levels of soil contamination were present in this area down to the water table located approximately 20 feet below the property.  Ground water contamination extended for a distance of approximately one block. 

An in-ground solution to remediate the soil on the property was completed.  A mixer head on a backhoe was used to break up the soil and then mix 14,000 pounds of potassium permanganate to oxidize the dry cleaning solvents and Portland cement to absorb water and stability the soil.  The mixing head advanced down to a depth of 20 feet, the surface of the water table.  

Over time, the chemical mixture will oxidize the dry cleaning solvents in the soil and break them down into harmless by-products.  Groundwater sampling is now underway to monitor the effect of the treatment on the contamination levels at the site.  The Dry Cleaner Environmental Response Fund (DERF) paid for the investigation and remediation activities associated with the project. 

For more information on chlorinated solvent remediation or other environmental site investigations, contact MSA's Jayne Englebert.

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