Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Mark N. Goltz, PhD


Groundwater contamination by perchlorate has recently been recognized as a significant environmental problem across the United States, and especially at Department of Defense facilities. In this study, a model is used to evaluate the potential of a innovative in situ bioremediation technology using Horizontal Flow Treatment Wells (HFTWs) to manage perchlorate-contaminated groundwater. The technology uses HFTWs to mix an electron donor into perchlorate-contaminated groundwater in order to promote reduction of the perchlorate by indigenous microorganisms in bioactive zones within the aquifer, as well as recirculate the contaminated water between treatment well pairs to achieve multiple passes of contaminated water through the bioactive zones. The model used in this study couples a three-dimensional fate and transport model, which simulates advective/dispersive transport of solutes induced by regional groundwater flow and operation of the HFTW's, with a biodegradation model that simulates perchlorate reduction, as well as reduction of competing electron acceptors in the groundwater, by indigenous microorganisms. The model was applied to an example site to demonstrate how in situ perchlorate treatment might be implemented. A sensitivity analysis using the model is also conducted to evaluate which engineered and environmental parameters most affect technology performance. Model simulation results demonstrate that this technology may be effective in managing perchlorate-contaminated groundwater. The recirculation induced by the HFTW system results in increased treatment efficiency, as compared to treatment that would be achieved by a single pass of contaminated water through the bioactive zones. It was observed that the model was very sensitive to several kinetic parameters, indicating that a fruitful area for future research would be to study how these important parameters can be accurately quantified for given geochemical and microbiological conditions.

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