SMA’s experience with investigations of contaminated (or potentially contaminated) sites has ranged from hand augering or backhoe potholing of near surface soil samples to drilling of soil borings and monitoring/remediation well completions to several hundred feet in depth. For many initial delineations of soil contamination, SMA utilizes one or more field techniques including visual observation, field headspace screening for volatile hydrocarbons, field titration method for determination of chloride concentrations, or other field semi-quantitative testing methods. The intent of these initial screening efforts is often to provide the basis for development of a more intensive but cost-effective secondary investigation or to reach documented closure for a release.
Once initial screening is complete the investigation may include further sampling or monitoring to determine the potential migration of the contaminants. It is often under this phase of investigation that Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) is employed as a cost-effective alternative to traditional remediation. However, if the contaminants are recalcitrant and/or presenting pathways to exposure, an active remedial method may be required. SMA has experience in a variety of techniques including the addition of nutrient amendments, excavation, soil vapor extraction (SVE), air sparging, in-situ air sparging (ISAS, similar to groundwater recirculation cells), pump & treat, incineration/vitrification, and thermal desorption.