Bioremediation Information & Resources

Effective monitoring of physical, chemical, and biological parameters is a necessary component of any remediation application. Each of the different parameters provides different insight into the strengths and deficiencies of a remediation system. Using this data, useful conclusions can be drawn that allow for modifications to be made that will maximize treatment efficiency. ETEC provides data interpretation as part of projects as an ongoing service to our customers - typically free of charge.


Physical Parameters

  • pH – A neutral pH is important for aerobic or anaerobic bioremediation

  • Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP) – Helps determine the availability of electron acceptors with either aerobic or anaerobic bioremediation

  • Dissolved Oxygen – The presence of dissolved oxygen is an indicator of electron acceptor availability

  • Alkalinity – Changes in alkalinity can be used as an indicator of carbon dioxide production in closed systems

Inorganic Chemical Parameters

  • Ammonia-nitrogen – A preferred from of nitrogen for building and supporting an active bacterial population

  • Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium – Additional necessary macro- and micro-nutrients for the microbial community

  • Nitrate-nitrogen – Can be used as a nitrogen source as well as an electron acceptor

  • Sulfate, iron, manganese – Are used as electron acceptors in the absence of oxygen and help indicate electron acceptor demand

Organic Chemical Parameters

  • Total Organic Carbon (TOC) – Used to estimate the amount of organic compounds present in groundwater and soil

  • Chemical Oxidant Demand (COD) – Useful in estimating the amount of chemical oxidants needed for a treatment application

  • Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) – Can be used to determine the electron acceptor mass necessary for an aerobic bioremediation treatment or electron donor substrate mass for an anaerobic bioremediation application

Biological Parameters

  • Heterotrophic Plate Count – Useful for determining the total bacterial population in a groundwater or soil sample

  • Hydrocarbon-degrading Plate Count – A determination of the number of bacteria capable of degrading petroleum contaminants

  • MTBE-degrading Plate Count – A specialized enumeration of bacteria capable of degrading MTBE