Groundwater pump-and-treat involves the extraction of groundwater from a contaminant plume and the treatment of extracted water using one or more aboveground technologies. Drinking water treatment systems where the extracted water is contaminated with fuel oxygenates involve many of the same activities as groundwater pump-and-treat. In general, the methods for extraction of the ground-water are not linked to or limited by the aboveground (ex situ) treatment technologies. This section focuses on groundwater extraction, while the following section focuses on aboveground treatment of the extracted groundwater, for both pump-and-treat and for drinking water treatment.
The groundwater extraction component typically consists of multiple wells and/or trenches for the extraction of groundwater and includes differential control of extraction rates from individual wells to optimize operation. Most groundwater extraction systems incorporate extraction wells that are installed within the contaminant plume downgradient from the source. These extraction wells are designed and controlled to act as a barrier to additional downgradient movement of the contaminant plume and, over a long period of time, to extract contaminant mass. Due to the water solubility of MTBE and other oxygenates, and the associated occurrence of significant quantities of contaminant mass in the dissolved phase, such groundwater extraction systems have specific application to the remediation of plumes incorporating oxygenate contamination.
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