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AutoTracker Reduces Remediation Cost per Gallon by 59%

Case Study: Superfund Site

AutoTracker Floating Extraction Inlets

AutoTracker™ (U.S. Patent Number 6,520,259) Floating Extraction Inlets were added to a DPE system at a remediation site in mid-Michigan following several years of operational problems caused by fluctuating water table levels. Installation was straightforward and system performance improved immediately, reducing on-site maintenance, labor and O&M costs and greatly improving groundwater recovery. Ongoing savings were so dramatic that payback for the initial capital cost was achieved in just 4 months! Projected over the project life cycle, cost savings should surpass $600,000, with an expected 10-year reduction in time to reach the remediation target.

Site Background Data:

  • 12 well dual-phase extraction system
  • 2-acre encapsulation and treatment cell
  • Well depths: 20-40 feet bgs; static water level: 15-20 feet bgs
  • Approx. 30,000 cubic yards of soils contaminated with chlorinated solvents
  • 25 HP rotary lobe blower used
  • Each well extracts 20-30 scfm of vapor at 10-13" Hg
  • Recovered vapor & groundwater treated with vapor/liquid phase activated carbon

History Prior to AutoTracker Installation:

  • System operated 1999-2001 with fixed entrainment tubes
  • Water level changes caused by seasonal fluctuations and/or blower shutdown resulted in dry recovery, deadhead and liquid choking conditions
  • O&M costs increased by need for frequent manual adjustment and maintenance
  • Air/groundwater recovery rates decreased due to extensive system downtime

AutoTracker Performance:

  • Floating Extraction Inlets installed summer 2002
  • O&M costs reduced 20% due primarily to reduced labor
  • Payback period less than 4 months
  • Groundwater recovery rates nearly doubled
  • Groundwater recovery cost per gallon reduced 59%
  • Estimated project duration cut from 30 to 20 years
  • Estimated life cycle cost savings: over $600,000

Cost Savings Demonstration:

ParameterBefore Conversion to AutoTracker™AfterConversion to AutoTracker™
Annual O&M $44,500 $35,500
Groundwater Recovery 460 gal/day 914 gal/day
Cost/Gallon Recovered $0.27 $0.11
Capital Cost for 12 AutoTrackers na $3,000
Payback Period na 4 months
Estimated O&M Duration 30 years 20 years
Life Cycle Cost $1,335,000 $710,000

AutoTracker brochure (pdf 660K)