Air Sparging



Air sparging is a remediation technique used by injecting air into contaminated ground water. The main purpose of the air sparging system is to provide biodegradation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in  the groundwater passing through the treatment zone. The addition of oxygen to the soil and groundwater encourages biodegradation of contaminants in and above the water table, this act as a nutrient for bacteria. The  VOCs in petroleum are drastically reduced by the process.  The compounds are turned into a gaseous state, then air is vented through the unsaturated zone. Air Sparging is mostly used with Soil Vapor Extraction, which is the most effective. Together they are called an AS/SVE.


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Air Sparging Information



Left: a diagram of how AS/SVE works



How was AS/SVE used in Oneonta?

At the Neawah Park site 2, 5 horsepower rotary valve blowers and associated feed and manifold were installed.  A Soil Vapor Extraction unit was also installed onsite.  The SVE unit was comprised of a positive displacement blower, moisture integrator / blower, vapor phase carbon, and Biocube treatment units.

The positive displacement blower injects air into the groundwater volatizing contaminants, which enhances biodegradation. Vapor phase carbon physically absorbs the pollutants onto grains of activated carbon.  This grains are used because they have a larger internal space than surface area so they can hold much contaminants. The Biocube system then filters the contaminents.  The moisture integrator / blower then puts moisture back into the ground area after the SVE system has sucked up the VOCs.

The air sparging system was put into action on July 10, 1997. The SVE unit was kick started a few weeks earlier on May 21, 1997.The AS/SVE units were decommissioned on July 24, 2001.  By this time 186.82 lbs of volatile organic compounds were removed from the site. However cleanup using these methods was not enough to properly remediate the site.


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