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Economic Analysis of the Implementation of Permeable Reactive Barriers for Remediation of Contaminated Ground Water (42 pp, 312 KB) (EPA/600/R-02/034) June 2002

This report presents an analysis of the cost of using permeable reactive barriers to remediate contaminated ground water. When possible, these costs are compared with the cost of pump-and-treat technology for similar situations. Permeable reactive barriers are no longer perceived as an innovative remediation technology but are rapidly maturing and may be considered as a standard remediation technology, similar to pump-and-treat. PRB cost information was obtained from a variety of sources, including reports, surveys, and interviews. Costs were broken out into four general categories: site characterization, design, construction, and operation and maintenance. Subcategories within these four further detailed the costs. A novel approach to comparing treatment costs for PRBs is proposed and used. It relies on describing costs per the quantity of water that actually needs to be treated rather than the typical P&T approach of dollars per gallon that enter the treatment system whether contaminated or not. Cost comparisons indicate that, depending upon the situation, implementing a PRB can either be more or less expensive than a P&T in terms of capital expenditures, but that routine operation and maintenance costs favor the PRBs. However, a major unknown with regard to implementing PRBs is the potential need for replacement or rejuvenation of the reactive media.

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