Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011MS136B

Comparisons of Indigenous and Selected Bacterial Degrading Pentachlorophenol (PCP) Consortiums for Remediation of PCP Contaminated Groundwater

Institute: Mississippi
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-12-15
Total Federal Funds: $15,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $30,000

Principal Investigators: M Prewitt, Hamid Borazjani, Ken Willeford

Abstract: Pentachlorphenol (PCP) is a toxic and recalcitrant pesticide that through agricultural use has significantly contaminated Mississippi’s groundwater. Over ninety percent of the human population in the state of Mississippi rely on groundwater for domestic use. PCP contaminated water presents a major health concern for humans and wildlife and is an environmental blight. The estimated cost for its remediation is ~75 million dollars. This proposal seeks to determine if bacteria isolated from PCP contaminated groundwater will degrade PCP more efficiently than a custom-designed consortium of known PCP degrading bacteria. Ten bacterial consortiums will be screened in a laboratory setting for efficiency in PCP degradation. The most efficient consortium (s) will be further evaluated for optimal degradation through the addition of nutrients, oxygen, and pH. The optimized consortiums will be added to PCP contaminated groundwater at a former wood treating site in Mississippi. Monthly, after the addition of the optimized consortiums, PCP degradation, microbial counts and chloride concentration will be determined. The results should lead to a formulation of environmentally benign PCP degrading bacteria consortium that will reduce the time for decontamination of PCP in groundwater.