Nature's inherent ability to cleanse itself is at the heart of Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA). The complexity comes when one attempts to measure and calculate this inherent ability, called the Natural Attenuation Capacity (NAC), and determine if it is sufficient to cleanse the system to agreed upon criteria. An approach that is simple in concept for determining whether the NAC is sufficient for MNA to work is the concept of a mass balance. Mass balance is a robust framework upon which all decisions can be made. The inflows to and outflows from the system are balanced against the NAC of the subsurface system. For MNA to be acceptable, the NAC is balanced against the contaminant loading to the subsurface system with the resulting outflow from the system being in a range that is acceptable to the regulating and decision-making parties. When the system is such that the resulting outflow is not within an acceptable range, the idea of taking actions that are sustainable and that will bring the system within the acceptable range of outflows is evaluated. These sustainable enhancements are being developed under the Enhanced Attenuation (EA) concept. Copyright ASCE 2005.
Additional Publication Details
Monitored natural attenuation and enhanced attenuation for chlorinated solvent plumes - It's all about balance
2005 World Water and Environmental Resources Congress