Advantages and Limitations

The advantages of applying air sparging are as follows3440:

1. Generally considered to be easy to construct, operate, and maintain.

2. Configurations can be designed to cause minimal disturbance to site operations.

3. In some cases, such as areas of lower contaminant concentrations or in remote locations, contaminants stripped from the groundwater may be allowed to attenuate naturally in the vadose zone.

The limitations to applying air sparging are as follows3440:

1. Often contaminants stripped from the groundwater must be extracted and treated aboveg-round using SVE.

2. High airflow rates may result in unintended fracturing leading to nonuniform flow or short-circuiting of injected air in the subsurface, or may result in unintended mobilization of contaminants as nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPL), dissolved in groundwater, or in soil gas.

3. Has limited applicability at sites with confined aquifers and stratified layers; soil heterogeneities may limit effectiveness.

4. Has the potential to cause a lateral spread of dissolved or separate phase contaminant plumes.

24.4.9 Example Projects

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