A petroleum pipeline release in a remote area had gone undiscovered for a number of years and groundwater was impacted with BTEX. Groundwater monitoring results suggested that BTEX concentrations were decreasing although results were variable.
The site managers asked for an additional line of evidence of BTEX biodegradation to support acceptance of an MNA management strategy at the site. Bio-Traps® and CENSUS qPCR for BTEX catabolic functional genes proved stimulation of BTEX biodegradation in impacted wells.
Trends in decreasing BTEX concentrations were validated as biological in origin supporting an MNA management strategy and avoiding the greater costs of enhanced remediation.