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dc.contributor.authorMendez III, Eduardoen_US
dc.description.abstractNatural Attenuation Software (NAS) was developed as a screening tool to estimate remediation timeframes for monitored natural attenuation (MNA) to lower groundwater contaminant concentrations to regulatory limits, and to assist in decision-making on the level of source zone treatment in conjunction with MNA using site-specific remediation objectives. In addition, NAS facilitates the combined use of MNA with engineered remedial actions (ERAs) so that the benefits of each technology can be maximized while minimizing costs of remediation. The primary expected benefit of NAS is to increase regulatory acceptance of MNA, thereby decreasing overall remediation costs.

NAS is designed for application to ground-water systems consisting of porous, relatively homogeneous, saturated media, and assumes that groundwater flow is uniform and unidirectional. NAS consists of a combination of analytical and numerical solute transport models implemented in three main interactive modules to provide estimates for: (1) target source concentration required for a plume extent to contract to regulatory limits, (2) time required for NAPL contaminants in the source area to attenuate to a predetermined target source concentration, and (3) time required for a plume extent to contract to regulatory limits after source reduction. Natural attenuation processes that NAS models include advection, dispersion, sorption, non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) dissolution, and biodegradation. NAS determines redox zonation, and estimates and applies varied biodegradation rates from one redox zone to the next.

Recently, NAS was enhanced to include petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated ethenes, chlorinated ethanes, chlorinated methanes, and chlorinated benzenes, or any user-defined contaminants (e.g., heavy metals, radioisotopes), and has included the capability to model co-mingled plumes. To enable comparison of remediation timeframe estimates between MNA and specific ERAs, NAS was modified to incorporate an estimation technique for timeframes associated with pump-and-treat remediation technology for comparison to, or in conjunction with, MNA. NAS also expanded analysis tools for improved performance assessment, as well as the assessment of sustainability of natural attenuation processes over time.

A Department of Defense (DoD) Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) demonstration was undertaken to evaluate the capability of the NAS software to provide reasonable estimates of MNA cleanup timeframes in a variety of environments and sites throughout the United States. Overall, results suggest that NAS was satisfactory in meeting performance objectives set forth in the demonstration, and that because NAS is based on sound science, it can serve as an effective tool for decision-making and data analysis at a wide range of contaminated sites and is not limited to a small subset of â simple sitesâ because of its simplicity. At some sites, NAS-estimated timeframes were crucial for winning regulatory acceptance of MNA, with cost-benefit analyses providing estimates of savings associated with using MNA as a final remediation strategy.

dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjectpetroleum hydrocarbonsen_US
dc.subjectgroundwater remediationen_US
dc.subjectmonitored natural attenuationen_US
dc.subjectchlorinated ethenesen_US
dc.titleNatural Attenuation Software (NAS): Assessing Remedial Strategies and Estimating Timeframesen_US
dc.contributor.departmentCivil Engineeringen_US Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairWiddowson, Mark A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGallagher, Daniel L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberNovak, John T.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBurbey, Thomas J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberChapelle, Francis H.en_US

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