Primary Author / Conference Presenter:
Kerry Sublette
Sublette Consulting
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA

Eric Raes | BioEnhance LLC
Katherine Clark, Dora Taggart, Brett Baldwin, Anita Biermacki | Miocrobial Insights, Inc.

Bioremediation of contaminated groundwater is an attractive treatment option that harnesses the power of naturally occurring microorganisms to degrade contaminants of concern. The success of this strategy relies on the presence of microorganisms in the aquifer that are capable of degrading the contaminant. An in-well bioreactor has been developed to enhance the natural attenuation process by stimulating microbial growth and enhancing contaminant degradation to achieve site remediation goals. This approach builds on existing Bio-Sep bead technology which is currently used commercially as a forensic tool (Bio-Trap) for characterizing subsurface microbial ecology with great success. Bio-Sep beads provide a substrate that can be rapidly colonized by the active members of the microbial community and serve to concentrate indigenous degraders. Air (or N2) and nutrients are also delivered to the bioreactor to maintain conditions favorable for growth and reproduction. The contaminated groundwater is treated as it is circulated through the bed of beads. Groundwater moving through the system also transports degraders released from Bio-Sep beads away from the bioreactor, increasing biodegradation rates in the aquifer. Two case studies are presented in which the ISBR was used to treat groundwater contaminated with low concentrations of fuel oil components at a residential site and an industrial site impacted with chlorinated hydrocarbons.