Use of Semi-Quantitative Field Screening Data in Hydrocarbon Investigation and Remediation

Field Sampling, Measurement and Sensor Technology
Oral Presentation

Prepared by S. Saha1, G. McDonnell2, C. Fator1, E. Oswalt1, E. Ricco1
1 - Hanby Environmental, 1772, W. Sam Houston Parkway N, Houston, Texas, 77043, United States
2 - Terracon Consultants, 4701, N. Stiles Ave., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73105, United States

Contact Information:; 713-468-3898


The final objective in remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soil, mud or groundwater is to remediate impacts to a prescribed level. Confirmation that this goal has been achieved is most commonly obtained through laboratory analysis of selected media samples, the results of which can be received only after some delay. While field screening techniques providing a more immediate result exist (e.g., photoionization detector) there are significant limitations preventing their use as more than just qualitative screening tools to roughly guide selection of samples for laboratory analysis. If additional characterization sampling is required because laboratory results do not reflect the results expected based on imperfect field screening data, demobilization can be delayed or remobilization required, increasing costs and extending schedules.

Reliable field screening data produced by Hanby TPH (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon) field test kits can address these issues. Developed over 30 years ago, these kits have been used in major hydrocarbon investigations and remediation efforts, and are referred to by USEPA in its report titled “Dependable Data When You Need It”. While the underlying chemistry remains the same (providing semi-quantitative estimates of TPH concentrations in soil and water) recent years have seen a number of advances making these kits more user-friendly in field operations. A combination of solvent extraction, color reagent and the chemical reaction make it unique in the industry. Using the Hanby TPH field test kits, the quality and amount of reliable data available to define the contaminated area can be very economically increased, as each test can be performed rapidly (approximately five minutes) at a fraction of lab cost. Semi-quantitative data from the Hanby TPH field test kits can allow practitioners to more quickly and more confidently submit a smaller subset of samples for laboratory contaminant level concentration verification, with significantly less risk of resampling being required.