Environmental Health - Toxic Substances
How do you Clean Up Gasoline Spills Naturally?
USGS scientist performing a routine calibration of an instrument used to collect air samples at a gasoline spill site in Galloway Township, New Jersey. The air samples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Photo credit: USGS.
By letting microorganisms that live underground do the work for you. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control have developed a methodology for cleaning up fuel spill sites naturally. The methodology is explained in a report entitled Methodology for Applying Monitored Natural Attenuation to Petroleum Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Ground-Water Systems with Examples from South Carolina. Natural attenuation is the combination of the degradation, adsorption, and dilution of contaminants that can occur naturally in the subsurface given the right conditions. Highlights of the report are:
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USGS Information on Natural Attenuation