☷Team saves years millions by remediation optimization
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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Drill rods with hose connections are set at injection locations . The drill crew checks the connection before injections begin . Hoses containing amendment mixture are routed from holding tanks to injection locations . Field personnel can observe drilling operations from the injection manifold . Gauges on the manifold monitor pressure of each line that connects the amendment tanks to each injection location . Drill crew inspects drill rod and hose setup at a drilling location before injections begin . Drill rig is positioned to install drill rods at the next location for amendment injections . Two drill rods already installed are visible in front of the rig . Holding tanks filled with amendment for injections are staged in the background . A portable pump system was designed for pumping molasses into truck tanks from holding tanks . The portable system allowed the pump to be placed downhill of the tanks and used gravity to reduce stress on the pump . Due to freezing temperatures , an insulated hose was engineered to also facilitate easier pumping of the molasses to the truck . Field personnel manned the injection manifold while communicating with field personnel located at the amendment holding tanks . Communication was essential between the two locations to accurately turn off gauges and valves at both the manifold and the tanks . In the background , the drill crew prepares the next round of injection points by installing drill rods . Truck drivers monitor progress of filling tanks with water from irrigation system . The truck tanks were partially filled with molasses to create amendment mixture to subsurface injections . The amendment mixture was then delivered to holding tanks at the injection site The environmental restoration team for the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant , using custom - designed injection materials and careful analysis of groundwater contamination patterns , successfully implemented a remediation plan that cut years off the restoration timeline and saved millions of dollars . The team , led by the U . S . Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District and the U . S . Army Environmental Command , was responsible for remediating a groundwater plume of explosive compounds that had migrated several miles off - site . The site , which is 12 , 042 acres , was constructed in 1942 and intermittently operated , producing artillery shells , mines , bombs and rockets during World War II , the Korean War and Vietnam War , and had ceased production operations in 1973 . By creating a remedy optimization plan , coupled with a long - term monitoring project , and by decommissioning extraction wells and the existing groundwater treatment facility through process improvements , the team estimates it was able to shave seven years off the estimated restoration timeline and saved approximately $6 million . The remediation effort at the site had previously operated and maintained a groundwater extraction and treatment system since 1988 . As part of this , groundwater was transported upstream of a two - stage granular activated carbon treatment process , and then effluent was discharged into a nearby canal . Historically , the team had operated up to seven extraction wells , but after the bioremediation began , only one extraction well was operated , at 300 gallons per minute , to prevent migration of contaminated water . In 2013 , the team also began subsurface injections , designed for bioremediation of the plumes on site . These injections , to which the team added different amendments to last longer , stay in place and increase effectiveness , were customized to the site . The injections , which contained molasses , are inexpensive , readily available and locally sourced by working with a community livestock feed provider . Together , the improved process appears to be working well – the plume is not migrating offsite , and the injections have significantly reduced TNT and RDX concentrations in the groundwater to below regulatory limits except in one area . “The combination of increased monitoring , with customized injections built for this site have together really helped to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the remediation effort , ” said Linda Albrecht USAEC environmental support manager for CHAAP . “We believe this approach applied to and customized to other sites , could be a viable option for future cleanups of explosives - contaminated sites . ” At the Cornhusker site , scientists and engineers had to develop a thorough understanding of the site - specific hydrogeology , including the depth of the groundwater , the lithology ( or understanding of the rock formations in the environment ) , movement of water and chemistry of the aquifer . As part of the Army’s plans to convert the site for beneficial re - use by private landowners , more than 12 , 000 acres of the site have already been transferred . The ongoing cleanup , once completed , will allow the remaining 16 . 15 acres to be transferred to private owners . “For this project , our team successfully operated a five - year project with 13 options and completed all of our performance objectives on time and on budget , ” said Brian Fettin USACE project manager for CHAAP . “This will allow us to serve the community , convert the property to private ownership sooner than planned and at a much lower cost . ”
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