The transport and activity of Desulfitobacterium dichloroeliminans strain DCA1 in 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA)-contaminated groundwater have been evaluated through an in situ bioaugmentation test at an industrial site (Belgium). The migration of strain DCA1 was monitored from an injection well toward a monitoring well, and the effect of the imposed groundwater flow on its distribution was assessed by means of transport model MOCDENS3D. The results of the real-time PCR (16S rRNA gene) quantification downstream from the injection point were used to evaluate the bacterial distribution pattern simulated by MOCDENS3D. In the injection well, the 1,2-DCA concentration in the groundwater decreased from 939.8 to 0.9 microM in a 35 day time interval and in the presence of a sodium lactate solution. Moreover, analyses from the monitoring well showed that the cells were still active after transport through the aquifer, although biodegradation occurred to a lesser extent. This study showed that strain DCA1 can be successfully applied for the removal of 1,2-DCA under field conditions and that its limited retardation offers perspectives for large-scale cleanup processes of industrial sites.