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Fruitvale 9

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 10 months ago

Fruitvale 9

Clean-up Methods -Remediation Options

Tues., 5/25/10      Name _____________


Option A:  Pump and treat all contaminated water

Pump water from all contaminated wells.  Take the contaminated water away and treat it to remove the contamination.  This can be done quickly and has been used in other areas with relatively little danger to the public.  Pumping such large amounts of water can affect the amount of groundwater in neighboring communities like Aqua Fresca (town to south of Fruitvale).  It could also cause a permanent decrease in the amount of water in the aquifer.  This method will quickly remove the contaminated water but will not immediately remove contaminants trapped in the soil and rocks.  Pumping and treating contaminated water would cost $400-600 million dollars and take 6 to 9 months. 


Option B:  Excavate earth materials from the plume area


Dig out (excavate) the dirt and rocks in the plume area and transport the materials to a hazardous waste site for treatment and disposal.  This process has been used successfully in other areas and does remove earth materials that are highly hazardous.  However, it is often difficult to determine the exact extent of the contamination and to excavate in particular locations, such as heavily populated areas or under buildings.  The exposure of the contaminated soil and rocks to the air and transportation of this material may lead to other problems.  This procedure is estimated to cost $600-800 million dollars and takes 9 to 12 months. 


Option C:  Bioremediation of the plume area


         Bioremediation describes the clean-up process that uses organisms to help remove unwanted chemicals from the environment.  The No-Bug pesticide is known to decompose under certain soil conditions which can be achieved through adding genetically engineered (man made) microorganisms (tiny, single celled or ).  A thriving population of these microbes (microorganisms) will decompose or break down this pesticide into non-toxic chemicals.  Small spills of this pesticide have been successfully cleaned up through bioremediation.  As part of the decomposition process, the genetically engineered microbes produce an extremely toxic by-product.  However, this toxic by-product degrades into non-toxic chemicals in a matter of hours.  Therefore, it poses no health risk and there have been no reported side effects from the use of these microbes.  This procedure is estimated to cost $200-400 million dollars and take 3 to 4 years



Option D:  Leading-edge Water Treatment


Pump water from the existing wells that are on the boundary (outer edge) of the plume, remove it, and treat it.  Drill additional wells where needed.  This will keep the contamination from spreading, and over time will remove the contaminated water.  However, pumping will not remove all the contaminants in the groundwater or sediments.  This method does not deal with the possible effects of contaminated groundwater entering rivers or lakes.  This procedure is estimated to cost $200-400 million dollars and take 3 to 4 years.



Option E:  On Demand Water Treatment

         All operating wells will be consistently monitored for the pesticide.  Any water found to be contaminated will be treated before it is used.  This method is quick and relatively inexpensive.   It minimizes air pollution and poses little danger to the public.  Disadvantages include the need to monitor the water as long as the wells are used and issues of worker safety.  If the workers are drilling and monitoring wells in contaminated soil and rock, they may become ill.  This method also does not deal with the issue of contaminated groundwater entering rivers or lakes.  This procedure is estimated to cost $400 – 600 million dollars and take 15 to 20 years. 



Option F:  Prohibit ALL Pumping from the Contaminated Aquifer


         All pumping from the contaminated aquifer will be stopped.  In time, natural processes will reduce the pesticide concentration to safe levels.  If alternate sources of water cannot be located in the area, the residents of Fruitvale may have to buy water from the other sources.  It does not clean up the contaminated groundwater, and does not address the issue of the possible effects of contaminated groundwater entering lakes and rivers.  This procedure is estimated to cost between $1-200 million dollars and take 25-30 years.





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