Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Chemosphere (October 2012) 89(6): 680–687. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.06.009.


Copyright © 2012, Elsevier. Used by permission.


Past disposal of industrial solvents into unregulated landfills is a significant source of groundwater contamination. In 2009, we began investigating a former unregulated landfill with known trichloroethene (TCE) contamination. Our objective was to pinpoint the location of the plume and treat the TCE using in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO). We accomplished this by using electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) to survey the landfill and map the subsurface lithology. We then used the ERI survey maps to guide direct push groundwater sampling. A TCE plume (100-600 µg L-1) was identified in a low permeable silty-clay aquifer (Kh = 0.5 m d-1) that was within 6 m of ground surface. To treat the TCE, we manufactured slow-release potassium permanganate candles (SRPCs) that were 91.4 cm long and either 5.1 cm or 7.6 cm in dia. For comparison, we inserted equal masses of SRPCs (7.6-cm vs 5.1-cm dia) into the low permeable aquifer in staggered rows that intersected the TCE plume. The 5.1-cm dia candles were inserted using direct push rods while the 7.6-cm SRPCs were placed in 10 permanent wells. Pneumatic circulators that emitted small air bubbles were placed below the 7.6-cm SRPCs in the second year. Results 15 months after installation showed significant TCE reductions in the 7.6-cm candle treatment zone (67-85%) and between 10 to 66% decrease in wells impacted by the direct push candles. These results support using slow-release permanganate candles as a means of treating chlorinated solvents in low permeable aquifers.

Includes Supplementary Materials.