Water Treatment: Treat & Groundwater Remediation
Water Pumping Systems & Equipment
Groundwater remediation is a water treatment process that is used to treat water from water resources such as ponds and lakes. At least one half of the national population depends upon treated groundwater as of drinking water resources.
The most common water treatment technique for groundwater remediation is the pump and treat groundwater remediation. Here, the groundwater is first pumped out using pumping equipments and is then processed through filters and chemicals.
Pump & Treat Groundwater Remediation
Pump and treat methods usually involve installing one or more wells to extract the contaminated water for groundwater remediate. The remediation equipment used here is mostly pond pumps or a water pumping machine. Groundwater is pumped from these “extraction wells” to the ground surface, either directly into a water treatment system or into a holding tank until the water treatment can begin. The water treatment system may consist of a single cleanup method, such as activated carbon or air stripping, to clean the water. However, water treatment often requires several cleanup methods if the groundwater contains a high amount of contaminants.
Equipment for Pump & Treat Groundwater Remediation
Pumping systems used for groundwater remediation vary based on multiple factors such as:
- Solid contaminant density
- Purpose for the water treatment: Drinking Water or Industrial
It’s essential to choose the right pumping equipment for the process as there are many options available in the market. Each of these pumping systems have unique features. The most crucial things to look for in a pumping system are:
Motor Strength: Pumping equipment motor usually has an output range between 1.5kW-11kW. Choose the one that suits your pump and treat remediation the best.
Clog Management Mechanisms: Some water pumping systems have crude filters to prevent a clog while others have shredding mechanism to break down the solid contaminants until filtration.
Water pumping systems are based on these factors and come in various sizes, motor strength and materials. The common types of water pumps used in most pump and treat groundwater remediation processes are:
- Choke Free Pumps: Choke free pumps are the best pumping systems to have if the solid contamination at the water resources is high.
- Bore Range: The bore range of your water pumping equipment decides how deep from the ground you can extract water. Shallow water resources require a low bore range pumping system where as deep water resources require a higher range.
- Cutter Pumps: Cutter pumping systems can shred the solid waste internally before the water is passed through the filters at a further stage.
- Decanting Pumps: Decanting water pumping machines detect the sludge surface and pump the water without any sediment. This reduces the amount of filtration required during further water treatment.
- Skimmer Pumping Systems: Skimmer pumping systems have similar benefits to decanting pumps. However, skimmer pumps also give an added benefit of a stable pumping process. This ensures, better volume and a homogeneously low concentration of suspended particle waste.
Are Pump & Treat Groundwater Remediation Safe?
Pump and treat groundwater remediation is a safe way to clean up contaminated groundwater and keep it from moving to other areas. Where it may affect drinking water supplies, wildlife habitats, or recreational rivers and lakes. Although pumping systems bring contamination to the ground surface, people are not exposed to the contamination. A pump and treat remediation system is monitored to ensure the extraction wells and water treatment units operate as designed. Also, the groundwater is further treated chemically or biologically to prevent any contamination from going to the user.
Pump & Treat Groundwater Remediation Time Span
Pump and treat remediation may last from a few years to several decades. The actual cleanup time will depend on several factors, which vary from site to site. For example, it may take longer where:
- Contaminant concentrations are high, or the contamination water resources have not been completely removed.
- The contaminant plume is large.
- Groundwater flow is slow, or the flow path is complex
Applications of Pump and Treat Groundwater Remediation
The first step in determining if given areas or water resources is suitable for pump and treat groundwater remediation is to conduct a site characterization investigation. Site characteristics, such as hydraulic conductivity, will determine the range of remedial options possible.
Chemical properties of the site need to be determined to characterize transport of the contaminant and evaluate the feasibility of groundwater pumping. To determine if groundwater pumping is appropriate for a site, you need to know the process of the contamination. In addition you should also know the properties of the subsurface, and the biological and chemical contaminant characteristics. Identifying the chemical and physical site characteristics and determining aquifer and soil properties are necessary in designing an effective groundwater pumping strategy.
Limitations of Pump and Treat Groundwater Remediation
The following factors may limit the applicability and effectiveness of groundwater pumping as part of the remedial process:
- The potentially long time necessary to achieve the remediation goal
- The water pumping system designs fail to contain the contaminant as predicted, allowing the plume to migrate and failure of the pumping equipment.
- Residual saturation of the contaminant in the soil pores cannot be removed by groundwater pumping systems. Contaminants tend to be absorbed in the soil matrix. Groundwater pumping is not applicable to certain contaminants. These include contaminants with high residual saturation, high sorption capabilities, and homogeneous aquifers with hydraulic conductivity less than 10-5 cm/sec.
- The cost of permitting, procuring and operating the water pumping systems is high. Additional cost may also be attributed to the disposal of spend carbon and other water treatment residuals and wastes.
- Bio fouling of the extraction wells and associated water treatment stream is a common problem, which can severely affect pumping system’s performance.
In spite of these limitations and the long time required for the pump and treat groundwater remediation, it still continues to be a reliable water treatment technique. The most important step before choosing pump and treat groundwater remediation is to analyze your water resources. This will only help you in choosing the best pumping system and equipment. It also aids in determining the material required during the bio or the chemical water treatment.
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