District 3 - Groundwater Bioremediation Project

District 3 Bioremediation Site Map.png

In November 2021, a contractor for the City of Orlando will implement a bioremediation project to continue the voluntary clean-up of a historic groundwater plume in this area associated with the Former Spellman Engineering Site. The project will include the injection of substrates designed to interact with the groundwater to reduce levels of concern. 

The Spellman Engineering Site operated between 1963 and 1969. Spellman Engineering performed parts cleaning for the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) using a variety of solvents. This site was located in the Lake Highland area, more specifically in the Brookhaven drive area.

Location

722 Brookhaven Drive, Orlando, FL 32803  View Map

Google Map

In August 2021, a Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP) for the additional cleanup was submitted to the EPA and FDEP. In September 2021, the City of Orlando received a conditional approval on the RAWP. 

In late November 2021, an environmental consulting company for the City of Orlando will implement a bioremediation project to continue the voluntary clean-up of a historic groundwater plume in the area associated with the Former Spellman Engineering Site. This project will include the injection of substrates designed to interact with the groundwater to reduce levels from the historical discharge. 

Spellman Engineering operated without the benefit of today’s understanding of environmental contaminants or environmental rules and regulations. As a result, materials were discarded in ways that would not meet today’s environmental standards. 

While in operation, Spellman Engineering would dispose of spent solvents, on the southern portion of the property, while cleaning industrial parts. This process created a number of by-products and waste material that were released into the soil and lower aquifer groundwater. The current level of by-products measured in the groundwater are well deeper than 30 feet below land surface and pose no threat to people working and living near the site.

In 2004 the City of Orlando entered into a voluntary cleanup agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the EPA and the City of Orlando have conducted environmental investigations at the site. During these investigations, levels of concern of by-products in deeper groundwater around the site were identified. 

The City of Orlando conducted investigations with EPA oversight, to define the limits of contamination, evaluate potential risks, and elevate cleanup activities. After assessing the site, the city entered into agreement with the EPA to fund the site cleanup.

Current levels of concern at the site pose no threat to people living and working near the site. Groundwater samples collected shallower than 30ft below land surface, indicated levels were not of concern. Cleanup efforts indicated a 90% contaminant reduction of deeper groundwater in select areas since the city began the Remedial Action Implementation.  

It is important to note that no current exposure to contaminated groundwater has been identified. The purpose of this clean-up is to adhere to criteria for groundwater.

Using bioremediation, substrate material made of emulsified vegetable oil will be injected into the ground designed to interact with the groundwater to breakdown the released compounds. The process will continue until the amendments have been used up, at that time it is anticipated that the groundwater concentrations will have reduced below monitoring levels. 

Residents and commuters will notice materials staged on the OUC property located adjacent to the site. Two direct push technology (DPT) drilling rigs, support vehicles, and some and heavy machinery will also be used to support the injections. An injection manifold will be utilized for the product deployment that may create some noise in the immediate area during project hours. No impacts to the roadways, sidewalks or utilities are anticipated. 

Q: Is the groundwater dangerous?  

A: No, this cleanup is being implemented to reduce groundwater impacts below screening criteria. 

Q: Is the soil in this area hazardous?  

A: No, soil on the Former Spellman Engineering Site and surrounding areas have been tested. The levels are not hazardous and do not affect the composition of the soil.  

Q: Is there a potential for vapors to be formed from the impacted groundwater?  

A: No, testing for soil vapors has been performed in the past to ensure there are no vapor intrusion issues.  

Q: Are there impacts to the lakes in the area?  

A: Sampling of surface water and sediment have been collected in this area. Previous remediation activities has eliminated impacts to this media.