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Up to 9 × 106 l of light non-aqueous-phase liquid (LNAPL) is present in a 400 m-wide zone in the Permo-Triassic sandstone 30 m below a working industrial site. Remediation by skimmer wells failed to meet the expectations of the regulatory authorities. A detailed study has concluded that this form of remediation is not possible in this formation.

Initial estimates of the volume of LNAPL in the sandstone had been made by applying the concept of correcting for an ‘exaggerated thickness’ in the wells and multiplying by the porosity. Regulatory requirements were to remove most, preferably all, of...

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