Permeable reactive barrier (PRB)

  • Passive remediation of spreading groundwater pollution
  • Highly modular and cost effective
  • Effective against organic and inorganic contaminants
  • Sequential remedial actions are possible when facing multi-contaminant plumes
  • Soft soils
  • Non-cohesive soils
  • High-moisture soils
  • Can treat soils up to 30 m (from surface)
  • Can be installed using excavators, soil mixing, or injection rigs
  • Can be combined with cut-off walls in a “Funnel and Gate” system

At REMEA, we use Permeable Reactive Barriers (PRBs) to contain pollution spread. Depending on the site, this technique is usually combined with a mass treatment method to remediate pollution source(s). 

Installation process


These barriers are usually placed downstream of the pollution source and can be installed using injection, excavation, or physical mixing. The selected method will depend on i) budget, ii) site specifics, and on iii) whether or not Excess Soils can be generated.

When working on historically contaminated sites, it is vital to properly delineate pollution spread so that we may optimize PRB size and location to the specifics of that site.

Grid pattern options



Downstream wall-type installations are typically the only grid pattern used when installing a PRB on a contaminated site.

Applications for classic PRBs

PRBs are used to remediate groundwater from organic or inorganic pollutants. Pollutant removal strategies include i) immobilization using sorption and precipitation strategies, ii) chemical transformations, and iii) biological transformations. As illustrated, all three remediation strategies can be sequentially combined when plumes contain a multitude of contaminants.


Depending on the specifics of each site, we can also install PRBs using excavators.


Serviceable PRBs


These systems are typically combined with low-permeability cut-off walls to “funnel” groundwater towards “gates“. Wall length and gate dimensions are sized according to the specifics of each site and capture the entirety of the water column.

See installation example | REMEA France

*Ideal for PFAS remediation

Find out about our technologies