Cleaning Contaminated Groundwater in Place

Cleaning Contaminated Groundwater in Place
Rockwell automation Florida, USA
Rockwell Automation is using enhanced anaerobic bioremediation to remediate chlorinated solvents.
An innovative system optimizes treatment by drawing water from the aquifer and adding lactate at an onsite treatment plant.

After acquiring the former industrial site and discovering it highly contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Rockwell Automation struggled to find a sustainable, effective remedy. After years of exhaustive efforts, the automation controls company partnered with CDM Smith and finally discovered a way to remediate chlorinated solvents from shallow groundwater. Our solution: enhanced anaerobic bioremediation, which leverages naturally occurring bacteria, boosted by simple lactate, to cleanse the contaminated groundwater in place.
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.
Enhanced anaerobic bioremediation is Rockwell Automation's solution for cleaning contaminated groundwater in Florida.
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.

Award Winning Solution

The project won the American Academy of Envi­ron­men­tal Engineers (AAEE) and National Groundwater Well Association (NGWA) outstanding groundwater remediation project awards. 

AAEES Award Winner
Rockwell Automation's Groundwater Remediation Using Enhanced Anaerobic Bioremedation was recognized by the American Academy of Environmental Engineering with a Grand Award, Small Projects.

Related Projects and Insights