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  Pump-and-Treat Ground Water Remediation, A Guide for Decision Makers and Practitioners (90 pp, 2.44 MB) (EPA/625/R-95/005) July 1996

Pump-and-treat remediation is one of the most widely used ground water remediation technologies. Pump-and-treat systems are used at about three-quarters of the Superfund sites where ground water is contaminated and at most sites where cleanup is required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and state laws. Although the effectiveness of pump-and-treat systems has been called into question after two decades of use, this approach remains a necessary component of most ground water remediation efforts and is appropriate for both restoration and plume containment.

This guide presents the basic concepts of pump-and-treat technology and provides decision makers with a foundation for evaluating the appropriateness of conventional or innovative approaches. Conventional pump-and-treat systems involve pumping contaminated water to the surface for treatment. However, the term pump-and-treat is used here in a broad sense to include any system where injection into ground water or ground water withdrawal is part of a remediation strategy. Variations and enhancements of conventional pump-and-treat systems include several physical, chemical, and biological enhancements.

The guide introduces pump-and-treat ground water remediation by addressing the following questions:

  • When is pump-and-treat an appropriate remediation approach?
  • What is involved in "smart" application of pump-and-treat systems?
  • What are tailing and rebound, and how can they be anticipated?
  • What are the recommended methods for meeting the challenges of effective hydraulic containment?
  • How can the design and operation of a pump-and-treat system be optimized and its performance measured?
  • When should variations and alternatives to conventional pump-and-treat systems be used?

An in-depth understanding of hydrogeology and ground water engineering is required to design and operate a pump-and-treat system. Readers seeking more information on specific topics covered in this document should refer to EPA documents listed at the end of the guide.

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