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Diagnostic Testing for the Design of a Subslab Depressurization System

May 13, 2013

Terra-Petra has been contracted to Design and Construct a Subslab Depressurization System to address Perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination at an existing building in Carson , California.

According to Wikipedia, “Like many chlorinated hydrocarbons, PCE is a central nervous system depressant and inhaling its vapors (particularly in closed, poorly ventilated areas) can cause dizziness, headache, sleepiness, confusion, nausea, difficulty in speaking and walking, unconsciousness, and death.  After repeated or extended skin contact, PCE may dissolve fats from the skin, resulting in severe skin irritation in work environments where people have been exposed to high concentrations.”

We recently conducted diagnostic testing of the air flow characteristics beneath the existing building for the design and installation of this subslab Depressurization System to mitigate against the PCE contamination.

As stated in the Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC) Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Advisory (VIMA), “The air flow characteristics and capacity of the material(s) beneath the slab should be quantitatively determined by diagnostic testing, a procedure analogous to conducting a soil vapor extraction pilot test. This is an important step in the SSD design process, and should always be performed prior to the design and installation of an SD system. The objective of diagnostic testing is to investigate and evaluate the development of a negative pressure field, via induced air flow beneath the existing building slab.”

We’re currently finalizing our design and will be constructing the SSD system by the middle of the month (May 2013).

Conducting Diagnostic Testing

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