Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version

Spring 2003


Remediation 13:2 (Spring 2003), pp. 53–69; doi: 10.1002/rem.10064


Copyright © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Used by permission.


Denitrification experiments have provided data showing the pitfalls and successes in developing a sustainable injection/extraction system in a sand and gravel aquifer. Experiments increase in complexity from continuous injection at one well to automated-pulsed eight well injections. In both continuous and pulsed injection of organic carbon, 40 mg NO3-N l1 was reduced below the detection limit of < 0.1 mg NO3-N l–1 in the denitrification zones. Under continuous injection, accumulation of bacterial exudates in the vicinity of the injection well resulted in injection well clogging within ten days. Periodic cleaning of the injection well and the adjacent gravel matrix was accomplished by using a tool developed to circulate a cleaning solution composed of 5 percent H2O2 and 0.02 percent NaOCl; but, biofouling could not be eliminated. In the later experiments, acetate became the carbon amendment because ethanol promoted more biomass development. A specialized pulse injection procedure was developed to separate nitrate from acetate-C and was successful in alleviating the proliferation of bacterial exudates without affecting the performance of the denitrification system. Using pulsed injection, a maximum of 72 percent nitrate reduction was accomplished in the extraction well water, and denitrification was sustained for three months without clogging.