Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRBs) Training Courses

ITRC Documents Associated with this Topic

The Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRBs) training coursees provide a comprehensive resource for design and implementation of PRBs. A PRB is an in situ permeable treatment zone designed to intercept and remediate a contaminant groundwater plume. The newest technology update training course incorporates elements from previous documents and provides updates on additional types of reactive media, treatable contaminants, longevity issues, and new construction/installation approaches and technologies.

Advanced Techniques on Installation of Iron Based Permeable Reactive Barriers and Non-Iron Based Barrier Treatment Material

This is the second training on Permeable Reactive Barrier Walls from the ITRC. It responds to student requests to provide additional detail and describe advancements in the science and engineering to design, install, maintain and monitor reactive barrier systems. This curriculum will train students using case studies to describe long-term performance of iron-based systems and design them according to the heterogeneities of the subsurface. Construction techniques for excavation and barrier wall emplacement have improved dramatically and careful attention to barrier design & construction is critical to long term performance monitoring. This training is designed for State and Federal regulators and the practicing consultants. Site owners and community stakeholders will find this new information interesting as well. The training does not focus on the basic science and engineering of barrier systems but does present information from industry and State regulators using up to date case studies to document the data.

This training also describes non-iron barrier systems, the material most commonly used and the mechanisms encouraging a reduction in contaminant concentrations with in the systems.

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Permeable Reactive Barriers for Chlorinated Solvent, Inorganic, and Radionuclide Contamination

This training is designed to introduce state regulators, environmental consultants, site owners and community stakeholders to three documents created by the ITRC's Permeable Reactive Barrier Walls Technical Team and the Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF) Bioremediation Consortium titled, Regulatory Guidance for Permeable Barrier Walls Designed to Remediate Chlorinated Solvents, Regulatory Guidance for Permeable Reactive Barriers Designed to Remediate Inorganic and Radionuclide Contamination & "Design Guidance for Application of Permeable Barriers to Remediate Dissolved Chlorinated Solvents". The training focuses on the basic information one needs to determine and document the conditions necessary to effectively apply a permeable reactive barrier to a contaminated zone to be an effective part of remediating chlorinated solvents, radionuclides and other inorganic compounds in ground water. It provides a framework, that is, how to think about permeable reactive barriers based on science. The information contained in this manual and presentation is based on research activities of the RTDF and from experience and knowledge of the participating members.

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Permeable Reactive Barriers: Lessons Learned and New Directions

A permeable reactive barrier (PRB) is a continuous, in situ permeable treatment zone designed to intercept and remediate a contaminant plume. PRBs are often intended as a source-term management remedy or as an on-site containment remedy. The use of iron-based PRBs has evolved from innovative to accepted standard practice for the containment and treatment of a variety of groundwater contaminants. Reactive media such as carbon sources (compost), limestone, granular activated carbon, zeolites, and others had also been deployed in recent years to treat metals and some organic compounds. Research and deployment of bio-barrier systems is also growing in recent years, particularly for treatment of chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbon constituents.

This training presents updated information regarding new developments, innovative approaches, and lessons learned in the application of PRBs to treat a variety of groundwater contaminants. The information will be presented by reviewing the approaches and results at several sites where PRBs have been deployed. The training is based on the ITRC guidance document titled Permeable Reactive Barriers: Lessons Learned/New Directions (PRB-4, 2005). Case studies from around the country are included in the training to show various designs, contaminants, reactive media, and cost data for PRB systems. The training provides new information on iron-based PRB systems while providing a solid introduction to the non-iron PRBs. As a prerequisite to this course, we ask that you review background information on PRBs as presented in the material from earlier ITRC PRB training courses. You can access archives of these trainings at and Three other documents produced by the ITRC PRB team are also available for review on the ITRC Permeable Reactive Barriers Guidance Documents page.

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Permeable Reactive Barriers: Technology Update

A Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) is an in situ permeable treatment zone designed to intercept and remediate a contaminant plume to remediate groundwater. The treatment zone may be created directly using reactive materials such as iron, or indirectly using materials designed to stimulate secondary processes (e.g., adding carbon substrate and nutrients to enhance microbial activity). Since its first implementation in the early 1990s, over 200 PRB systems have been installed to treat groundwater contaminants and PRBs have become an important component among the various technologies available to remediate groundwater contamination.

The ITRC Technical/Regulatory Guidance Permeable Reactive Barrier: Technology Update (PRB-5, 2011) and associated Internet-based training is intended to help guide state and federal regulators, consultants, project managers, and other stakeholders and technology implementers through the decision process when a PRB is being considered as a remedy, or part of a remedy, to address contaminated groundwater; and to provide updated information regarding several technical aspects of the PRB using information attained from the more than 15 years that the PRB has been a viable and accepted in situ remediation technology for contaminated groundwater. The guidance and training provide an update on PRBs to include discussions of additional types of reactive media and contaminants that can be treated, design considerations, construction/installation approaches and technologies, performance assessment, and longevity.

If you are unfamiliar with PRBs, we ask that you review background information on PRBs prior to attending the training class. Documents produced by the ITRC PRB team are available for review on the ITRC Permeable Reactive Barriers Guidance Documents page. You can access archives of previous ITRC trainings at,, and

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