Dual-System Cleanup

by Chien D. Ngo, (M.ASCE), Managing Principal and Chief Engineer; McLaren/Hart Env. Engrg. Corp., Rancho Cordova, CA,
Philip J. Mitchell, (M.ASCE), Env. Mgmt. Mgr.; IBM ADSTAR, San Jose, CA,
John T. Su, (M.ASCE), Advisory Engr.; IBM ADSTAR, San Jose, CA,
Gary M. Carlton, (M.ASCE), CEO-U.S. Operations; McLaren/Hart Env. Engrg. Corp., Rancho Cordova, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 8, Pg. 45-47

Document Type: Feature article


Engineers designing a ground water treatment system for a manufacturing plant in northern California, found that two systems are better�and cheaper�than one. Most of the ground water at the IBM facility in San Jose, Calif. is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is cleaned with air stripping. A smaller stream stripping system treats the semi-volatiles and non-volatiles that pollute a lesser stream of water. Treating all the ground water with a single system would have required the more expensive process of steam stripping, which would have more than doubled the treatment portion of the cost and increased the plant's overall costs by about $3 million. This dual system costs about $5.75 million. The project also now supplies 35% of the water used at the 500 acre facility, alleviating the conditions brought on by California's drought, now in its sixth year. As an additional long-term benefit to the area, the project supplies water for injection into the aquifer.

Subject Headings: Water pollution | Stripping (chemical) | Water treatment | Water shortage | Groundwater pollution | Benefit cost ratios | Water supply systems

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