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Bioremediation is defined as the use of microorganisms to remove or reduce contaminants in order to effectively remediate a contaminated site. Some requirements for effective bioremediation are: contaminant degrading microorganisms, moisture, nutrients, and appropriate pH. There are two types of bioremediation: in-situ (in place treatment of contaminants) and ex-situ (removal and treatment of contaminated soil and/or water). Hydraulic injection and oxygen controlling systems are often used in in-situ bioremediation. Some methods used in ex-situ bioremediation include: activated sludge processes, fixed film processes, stabilization ponds, land farming, and composting.
Before bioremediation can be used on an agricultural chemical site, a treatability study must be performed. Exceptions to this treatability requirement can be made for proposals that include a list of references which demonstrate the effectiveness of bioremediation of the same contaminants with comparable concentrations and conditions. The purpose of the treatability study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the bioremediation proposal to remove or reduce contaminants at a particular site. Each proposal must carefully define the treatability study goals, experimental design, sampling and analysis plan, and data interpretation standards. The following general procedures apply to the design and application of a bioremediation treatability study. The final requirements for each treatability study will be site specific.
The experimental design section of the treatability study proposal should:
The sampling and analysis section of the treatability study proposal should:
The following design may not be appropriate for all bioremediation treatability studies. Bioremediation treatability studies should be site specific.
Data interpretation should:
If the treatability test is successful, the design should be evaluated and necessary alterations should be made to bring the design up to pilot or full scale remediation, if appropriate. The pilot or full scale design should follow procedures for a corrective action plan described in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) guidance document GD10 Agricultural Chemical Incident Remedial Investigation Report and Corrective Action Plan. In addition, the full scale costs of the bioremediation method should be compared to other remediation options to determine feasibility for field application.