• Capabilities: Strategic Environmental Consulting, Environmental Construction, Site Evaluation and Restoration
  • Sectors: Government

NASA - Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Biowall Remediation

Houston, TX, United States - An innovative approach to shallow groundwater remediation, emphasizing the use of green remediation and sustainable solutions in the form of a mulch permeable reactive barrier.

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sustainable approach to remediation restored groundwater

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pioneered trenching technology to speed safe results

The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas has served as NASA’s center for human spaceflight training, research and flight control for more than half a century. But recent events demonstrate that its leadership extends to “inner space” as well: the environmental health of the JSC and surrounding communities. 

Historical operations at the JSC resulted in a plume of chlorinated solvent contamination that emanated from a former surface impoundment. Committed to restoring groundwater quality, JSC teamed with Arcadis to develop a sustainable solution that would remediate the impacts of legacy contamination and be protective of JSC workers.

“I have worked with the Arcadis staff for over five years and have been extremely impressed with their client focused approach.”


Working together, a unique trenching technology was used to rapidly and safely install a mulch “biowall” that intercepts and treats the groundwater plume. The wall incorporated components such as locally-sourced pine mulch and manure to drive a “green” and sustainable groundwater clean-up. The remedial design also included restoration of important forested wetlands, eradicating invasive vegetative species that had degraded the local ecosystem over several decades.

This innovative “green remediation” approach not only greatly improved environmental conditions, but also reduced energy consumption, air emissions, water utilization and waste generation as compared to traditional construction methods. Groundwater monitoring results show a rapid reduction of the contaminated plume in proximity to the wall and indications of treatment on portions of the downgradient plume.  The environmental team’s “Mission Control” will continue to monitor the biowall over the next several years to ensure the system meets the final environmental clean-up goals.

Outcomes

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sustainable approach to remediation restored groundwater

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pioneered trenching technology to speed safe results

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beneficial reuse of hurricane debris in biomulch biowall

Questions about this project

Mike Madl

Program/Project Manager 817-877-9978 ext. 102 Ask me a question