After years of exhaustive efforts, Rockwell Automation finally discovered a way to remediate chlorinated solvents from shallow groundwater—CDM Smith. After acquiring the former industrial site and discovering it highly contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the automation controls company struggled to find a sustainable, effective remedy. Our solution: enhanced anaerobic bioremediation, which leverages naturally occurring bacteria, boosted by simple lactate, to cleanse the contaminated groundwater in place.
Enhanced anaerobic bioremediation is Rockwell Automation's solution for cleaning contaminated groundwater in Florida.
The complex and innovative system optimizes treatment by drawing water from the aquifer and adding lactate at an onsite treatment plant. The lactate-enhanced water is then re-injected into groundwater target zones where it expedites the dechlorination process, aiding bacteria—Dehalococcoides spp.—in breaking down solvents into harmless byproducts. An innovative well system—comprising horizontal recovery and vertical injection wells—continually recirculates groundwater to ensure that lactate, bacteria and contaminants are in constant contact, creating an unparalleled environment for decontamination.
At startup, the highest concentration area had more than 2,000,000 parts per billion of methylene chloride. Within the first 6 months of operation, VOC mass was reduced by more than 90 percent, and after 6 months, the methylene chloride had been completely remediated and has not been observed since. Destroying the contaminants in the ground mitigates risks such as accidental release, protecting workers and the environment.