Bear Creek Valley characterization area mixed wastes passive in situ treatment technology demonstration project - status report Page: 1 of 7
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BEAR CREEK VALLEY CHARACTERIZATION AREA V
MIXED WASTES PASSIVE IN SITU TREATMENT
TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION PROJECT - STATUS REPORT MAR 0 6
David Watson', Maureen Leavitt2, Chris Smith3, Thomas Klasson4, ( S T
Bill Bostick3, Liyuan Lang4, and Duncan Moss2
Historical waste disposal activities within the Bear Creek Valley (BCV) Characterization Area (CA),
at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Y-12 plant, have contaminated groundwater
and surface water above human health risk levels and impacted the ecology of Bear Creek (Figure
1 and 2). Contaminates include nitrate, radioisotopes, metals, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs),
and common ions. This paper provides a status report on a technology demonstration project that
is investigating the feasibility of using passive in situ treatment systems to remove these
contaminants (e.g. Figure 3). Although this technology may be applicable to many locations at the
Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant, the project focuses on collecting the information needed to take CERCLA
removal actions in 1998 at the S-3 Disposal Ponds site (Phase 3).
Phase 1 has been completed and included site characterization, laboratory screening of treatment
media (sorbents and iron), and limited field testing of biological treatment systems. Batch tests
using different Y-12 Plant waters were conducted to evaluate the removal efficiencies of most of
the media. Phase 1 results suggest that the most promising treatment media are Dowex 21k resin,
peat moss, zero-valent iron, and iron oxides. Phase 2 (scheduled for completion in 1997) will
include in-field column testing of these media to assess loading rates, and concerns with clogging,
by-products, and long-term treatment efficiency and media stability. Continued testing of wetlands
and algal mats (MATs) will be conducted to determine if they can be used for in-stream polishing of
surface water. Hydraulic testing of a shallow trench and horizontal well will also be completed
during Phase 2.
This project is being conducted to determine if passive in situ treatment systems can be used to
meet treatment goals in BCV tributaries and/or groundwater downstream of the tributaries. Given
the localized nature of known contaminant pathways and the fractured bedrock geology, the
treatment system (e.g. Figure 3) will likely include a trench or horizontal well to capture and treat
groundwater by means of a train of individual treatment media to remove the contaminants of
concern (i.e., radionuclides, metals, organics). In accordance with treatment needs, the trench
may be supplemented by any of three bioremediation technologies: constructed wetlands, MATS, -y
or phytoremediation systems. The level of sophistication required to address the difficult subsurface
matrix and the complex array of contaminants requires prudent evaluation of treatment efficiencies
and operational issues to determine the optimal remedy for each pathway. The technology
demonstration project consists of three phases as follow.
Phase 1: Site characterization and preliminary screening of treatment technologies. The
objectives of Phase 1 are to characterize possible demonstration sites near the S-3 Ponds; to
'Oak Ridge National Laboratory, MS-6400, Oak Ridge, TN, 37831-6400, (423)241-4749,
2SAIC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
3Lockheed Martin Energy Systems Inc., Oak Ridge Tennessee M A STER
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Watson, D.; Leavitt, M. & Moss, D. Bear Creek Valley characterization area mixed wastes passive in situ treatment technology demonstration project - status report, article, March 1, 1997; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc676454/m1/1/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.