Inside-t: A groundwater contamination transport model for sustainability assessment in remediation practice

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Current sustainability assessment (SA) tools to help deal with contaminated groundwater sites are inherently subjective and hardly applied. One reason may be lack of proper tools for addressing contaminant spread which are basically objective. To fill this gap, there is a need for contaminant transport models that provide site managers with needed room for applying their judgments and considerations about the efficiency of each remediation method based on their experiences in similar cases. INSIDE-T uses trend analysis and inverse modeling to estimate transport parameters. It then simulates contaminant transport both with and without the inclusion of remedial actions in a transparent way. The sustainability of each remedy measure can then be quantified based on the underlying SA tool (INSIDE). INSIDE-T was applied to a site in south Sweden, contaminated with pentachlorophenol. Simulation scenarios were developed to enable comparison between various remediation strategies and combinations of these. The application indicated that natural attenuation was not a viable option within the timeframe of interest. Although pump-and-treat combined with a permeable reactive barrier was found to be just as effective as bioremediation after five years, it received a much lower sustainability score overall. INSIDE-T outcomes enable site managers to test and evaluate different scenarios, a necessity in participatory decision-making practices such as remediation projects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7596
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Environmental Sciences


  • Contaminant transport
  • Contaminated sites
  • Decision support system
  • Sustainable remediation


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