Leach Performance Testing For Solidification Projects: How Do We Get There From Here?



Leach Performance Testing For Solidification Projects: How Do We Get There From Here?

Presenter:  Currie Mixon (GEI Consultants, Inc.)
Authors:  Currie Mixon, Chris Dailey, Andy Adinolfi, and Gaylen Brubaker (GEI Consultants, Inc.)


Typically, a solidification/stabilization (S/S) remedy uses at least three criteria that establish minimum performance of treated soil or sediment for strength, permeability, and leaching behavior.  Testing the treated materials for passing or failing the first two criteria is relatively straightforward.  However, the third criteria is one that ultimately has a direct bearing on regulatory compliance, since statutes establish numerical criteria for the maximum concentration of pollutants in groundwater. For MGP sites, where organic compounds are largely the constituents of concern, LEAF testing is becoming the state of the practice to test leaching behavior from a solidified soil.  However, translating the leached mass of organic constituents in a series of baths into evaluations or modeling of field-level performance in groundwater are far from straightforward.  This presentation describes and compares three methods for converting LEAF-based test results into evaluations of the treated material’s effectiveness in protecting groundwater.  We also explain the benefits and drawbacks of each of the three methods, using example cases.  Ultimately, the methodology used at a particular site will be determined based on the regulators and stakeholders agreed upon approach, but we believe practitioners should understand the complicated processes being encountered with evaluating a solidification remedy’s leaching performance.


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