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Permeable reactive barrier project to remediate groundwater contamination

The Nortel Networks site in Monkstown, Northern Ireland, has a 40 year history of mixed use. Detailed site investigation revealed high levels of volatile organic compound contamination in the groundwater. Contamination was thought to stem from storage of chlorinated solvents, and the contaminant plume was migrating off site.

Environmental consultant Golder Associates was commissioned to remediate the contaminated groundwater.

Golder designed a system to treat it as it migrated off site.

A permeable reactive barrier was installed in 1996 along the site boundary. Reactive granular iron in the permeable barrier breaks the chlorine contaminants down into harmless byproducts.

Queen's University Belfast excavated parts of the barrier and assessed its performance using scanning electron microscopy, carbon isotopes and groundwater modelling.

The report will be also be released in March.

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