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Permeable Reactive Barriers - Limestone Full Scale Case Study


The following is a summary of Bronstein’s findings of the full scale case study: (Bronstein, 2005)

Background and site description

An onsite landfill and surface impoundment was located on a former lead battery recycling center in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania. This site, owned by Tonolli Corporation, was placed on the NPL list in 1989, because a river located 3 miles downstream of the site contained high concentrations of contaminant As, Cd, Pb, and Cr. Contamination was located 0-19 feet below ground surface and in the alluvium.


PRB design

A pilot scale limestone trench was constructed in August of 1998 parallel to the creek, with dimensions 1400x3x24 feet (LxWxD).



From 2002 data, the trench was found to be effective in reducing Pb concentrations below the performance standards. Cd levels decreased slightly, but remained above the performance standards. The limestone trench seemed to have no effect on the other contaminants.


Discussion and Conclusions

The limestone trench was one of several cleanup remedies, and successfully reduced Pb concentrations. More information can be found on the EPA website.

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