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Field investigation into the biodegradation of TCE and BTEX at a former metal plating works

Dyer, M. (2003) Field investigation into the biodegradation of TCE and BTEX at a former metal plating works. Engineering Geology, 70 (3-4). pp. 321-329. ISSN 0013-7952

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The paper is based on a recent programme of groundwater monitoring at an industrial site in west London. Redevelopment of the site in 1997 revealed high levels of soil and groundwater pollution by hydrocarbon fuels, trichloroethylene (TCE) and soluble metal salts (e.g. free cyanide, chromium VI and nickel). The pollution originated from a previous metal plating and galvanising works at the site. As part of the redevelopment works, the owners undertook limited excavation works and groundwater extraction to remove the pollutant. However, groundwater sampling has continued to show high levels of pollution. Following discussion with the environment regulator in late 1998, a groundwater monitoring programme was agreed to investigate the potential for co-degradation of the petroleum fuel and TCE. Groundwater samples have been taken from six existing boreholes (1C to 6C). The location of the monitoring boreholes relates to past pollution spillages and the layout of the new factory building. Chemical analyses of groundwater samples show elevated aqueous concentrations of chloroethenes with a classical reduction pathway for trichloroethylene (TCE) leading to an accumulation of vinyl chloride.