Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael L. Shelley, PhD


Perchloroethene (PCE) and its degradation products are among the most common organic groundwater contaminants in the United States. Constructed wetlands are a relatively new approach to dealing with this contamination problem. With their upward flow capability it is possible to introduce an aerobic and anaerobic environment with a consortium of microorganisms available to degrade the contaminants to within acceptable levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This study is a follow-up to the previous two years of research on PCE degradation in cell 1 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This thesis was conducted in order to study the wetland and determine the mechanisms that exist to degrade the chlorinated solvent contamination that is present. It also provided additional evidence that the constructed wetland is degrading PCE to its innocuous byproducts. A purge-and-trap gas chromatograph was used to determine the concentrations of PCE, TCE, DCE isomers, and VC throughout the three layers of the constructed wetland. Inflow and outflow were also sampled and analyzed. In this year's data, PCE was detected at a level that was below the maximum contaminant level established by the EPA. However, it is clear that Cell 1 is still developing. This wetland cell has been in existence for three years and it is obvious that the development of a constructed wetland is a lengthy process. If a constructed wetland were to be used as a treatment process for contaminated water sources, time would have to be allowed for it to develop before it would reach maximum treatment efficiency.

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