Environmental Enlightenment #217
By Ami Adini - August 1, 2014

This is a SHORT, LIGHT and SIMPLE newsletter. Its purpose is to rekindle in the initiated terminology they have once learned, and enlighten the uninitiated on terms they may have heard but never knew the meaning of.

Power of Simplicity
The EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Cleanup Technologies

Series 15:Pump and Treat

See our Newsletter, Environmental Enlightenment #200, for introduction to one highly valuable, plainly written series of Citizen’s Guides published by the EPA at http://www.clu-in.org/products/citguide

With this issue we introduce the EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Phytoremediation. You can reach it through the hyperlink under the blue header below.


Pump and Treat
 is what the name says.

We extract contaminated groundwater.
We remove the contaminants in aboveground equipment.
And we find use for the decontaminated water.

When all else fails, we use Pump and Treat.

Imagine a source that has injected contamination into the ground, and it injected so much that the contaminants have saturated the soil and reached the aquifer.

UST Conceptual Site Model
Source: California EPA, San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board

We remove the primary source.

And we are left with loaded subterranean soil, saturated with the chemical and leaching it out to the aquifer where it dissolves into the water.

We call it Secondary Source.

The amount that dissolves into the water, miniscule as it may be, can present risk to life.   http://www.icecreamnation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/poison-symbol.png

The Treatment  part of Pump and Treat purifies the water.

However, as Pump and Treat does not directly attack the secondary source, the mass sitting in the soil will keep dripping into the aquifer for ages to come.

It can take decades, many, many long years, to handle a source this way.  

This technology is used in many EPA Superfund sites, but is not the technology of choice where fast solution is desired, a solution that can be supported by the economics of the case.

Go to the EPA’s Citizen’s Pump and Treat http://www.clu-in.org/download/Citizens/a_citizens_guide_to_pump_and_treat.pdf for the rest. It is simple and fun to read.


You can find past issues of "Environmental Enlightenment" at www.amiadini.com with wealth of information about issues concerning assessment and cleanup of contamination in the subsurface soil and groundwater.

Call me if you have any questions. There are no obligations.

Ami Adini
Ami Adini & Associates, Inc.
Environmental Consultants
Underground Storage Tank Experts
818-824-8102; 818-824-8112 fax

Ami Adini is a mechanical engineer, California Registered Environmental Assessor, Level II (Exp.), and president of AMI ADINI & ASSOCIATES, INC. (AA&A), an environmental consulting firm specializing in all phases of environmental site assessments and rehabilitation of contaminated sites. AA&A specializes in practical solutions to environmental concerns using the highest standards of ethics and integrity while providing its clients with maximum return on their investments.