Pilot Action 6 Updates: Jaworzno

On 16th of May, 2018, the operation of a bio-reactive barrier located in Jaworzno (Poland) was initiated. The bio-reactive barrier had been installed in January 2018 (after the selection of the pilot investment location in 2016, geotechnical expertise and the development of the bioreactive wall concept and technical design in 2017). The aim of the barrier is to purify groundwater of pollutants.

This day a microbiological “vaccine” was introduced for the first time into the barrier pilot plant, which had been built as part of the AMIIGA project.

The barrier is located in the vicinity of Chemical Works “Organika Azot” S.A. at the groundwater downflow from a polluted area known as the “old waste dump by the railway track”. The accomplishment of this pilot action will make it possible to test the efficiency of the designed reactive barrier system for the entire polluted area in the Wąwolnica stream valley. A direct result of this will be the improvement of groundwater quality.

The bio-barrier is meant to treat groundwater of substances such as HCH, DDT, dieldrin or endrin pesticides, and also to limit their dissemination in the environment. There are enormous amounts of pollutants such as hydrocarbons or organochlorine pesticides gathered in the old waste dumps of Chemical Works “Organika Azot” in Jaworzno, and they belong to the most persistent pollutants present in the natural environment.

The construction of bio-barrier is as follow: three connected tanks filled with different sorbents (zero-value iron, peat and a mixture of peat and aggregate).

The sorbents were selected after the laboratory test carried out jointly by researchers from Central Mining Institute and Technical University of Liberec.

For better treatment results, on the 16th of May this year, bacterial strains tested and selected by scientists from the University of Silesia and capable of decomposing pollutants present in a given area were introduced into the barrier. The operational efficiency of the bio-barrier will be tested for the next few months, according to the established monitoring plan.

The main objective of the pilot action is to improve the process of management and decision making concerning polluted groundwater at the functional urban area (FUA) scale.

Image: Concept for the sorbent and microorganisms introduction into the bio-reactive wall