Remediating contaminated groundwater with an aerated, direct-push, oxidant delivery system

James Reece, Mark Christenson, Ann Kambhu, Steve Comfort, Yusong Li, Clifford E. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


One of the biggest challenges to treating contaminated aquifers with chemical oxidants is achieving uniform coverage of the target zone. In an effort to maximize coverage, we report the design and installation of a novel aerated, slow-release oxidant delivery system that can be installed by direct-push equipment. By continuously bubbling air beneath a slow-release oxidant in situ, an airlift pump is created that causes water and oxidant to be dispersed from the top of the outer screen and drawn in at the bottom. This continuous circulation pattern around each drive point greatly facilitates the spreading of the oxidant as it slowly dissolves from the wax matrix (i.e., oxidant candle). Given that the aeration rate controls the outward flow of oxidant from the outer screen in all directions, the radius of influence around each drive point is largely a function of the outward velocity of the oxidant exiting the screen and the advection rate opposing the upgradient and lateral spreading. Temporal sampling from three field sites treated with the aerated oxidant system are presented and results show that contaminant concentrations typically decreased 50–99% within 6–9 months after installation. Supporting flow tank experiments that demonstrate oxidant flow patterns and treatment efficacy are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3383
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Airlift pump
  • Groundwater remediation
  • Modular oxidant delivery system
  • Oxidant cylinders
  • Oxidant delivery device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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