February 8, 2013

Soil Vapor Extraction System Optimization, Transition, and Closure Guidance


Soil vapor extraction (SVE) is a prevalent remediation approach for volatile contaminants in the vadose zone. A diminishing rate of contaminant extraction over time is typically observed due to 1) diminishing contaminant mass, and/or 2) slow rates of removal for contamination in low-permeability zones. After a SVE system begins to show indications of diminishing contaminant removal rate, SVE performance needs to be evaluated to determine whether the system should be optimized, terminated, or transitioned to another technology to replace or augment SVE. This guidance specifically addresses the elements of this type of performance assessment. While not specifically presented, the approach and analyses in this guidance could also be applied at the onset of remediation selection for a site as a way to evaluate current or future impacts to groundwater from vadose zone contamination. The guidance presented here builds from existing guidance for SVE design, operation, optimization, and closure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment. The purpose of the material herein is to clarify and focus on the specific actions and decisions related to SVE optimization, transition, and/or closure.

Revised: October 25, 2013 | Published: February 8, 2013


Truex M.J., D. Becker, M.A. Simon, M. Oostrom, A.K. Rice, and C.D. Johnson. 2013. Soil Vapor Extraction System Optimization, Transition, and Closure Guidance Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.