PILOT PEAT-BED TREATMENT SYSTEM FOR NPDES OUTFALL H-12

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A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit was issued to the Savannah River Site (SRS) by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and became effective on December 1, 2003. The new permit contained revised limits for copper and zinc derived by adjusting the South Carolina aquatic life water quality standards in accordance with dissolved metals criteria. The new copper and zinc limits are very low and may not be met consistently at Outfall H-12. The outfall has periodically exceeded the new 6 {micro}g/l (0.006 mg/L) monthly average limit and the 8 {micro}g/l (0.008 mg/L) maximum ... continued below

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Halverson, N; Ralph Nichols, R & Topher Berry, T October 22, 2007.

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A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit was issued to the Savannah River Site (SRS) by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and became effective on December 1, 2003. The new permit contained revised limits for copper and zinc derived by adjusting the South Carolina aquatic life water quality standards in accordance with dissolved metals criteria. The new copper and zinc limits are very low and may not be met consistently at Outfall H-12. The outfall has periodically exceeded the new 6 {micro}g/l (0.006 mg/L) monthly average limit and the 8 {micro}g/l (0.008 mg/L) maximum limit for copper and recently has begun exceeding the 100 {micro}g/l (0.100 mg/L) limit for zinc. The compliance date for Outfall H-12 is November 1, 2008. A study was conducted on this outfall and other outfalls to evaluate possible alternatives for meeting the new permit limits (Shipman and Bugher 2004). The study team recommended construction of a peat bed for treatment of the Outfall H-12 effluent. This recommendation was repeated by a second alternatives study team in 2007 (WSRC 2007). A bench-scale laboratory study demonstrated the feasibility of peat-bed treatment for Outfall H-12 effluent, with the peat demonstrating excellent removal of copper (Nelson and Specht 2005). An additional study was performed in 2006 and early 2007 using vertical-flow peat columns to investigate the influence of water retention time (contact time) on the removal of copper and zinc from the water (Nelson 2007c). Analytical results indicated that copper removal was very high at each of the three retention times tested, ranging from 99.6% removal at five and three hours to 98.8% removal at one hour. Effluent copper levels from these studies were much lower than the new compliance limit for the outfall. Most divalent metals, including zinc, were removed to below their normal reporting detection limit. The H-Area Material Disposition organization requested a larger-scale study to investigate key design and operation parameters/issues, such as the possibility of rapid plugging of the piping or clogging of the peat bed, the effectiveness of the treatment, hydraulic conductivity, etc. The resulting pilot-scale facility was constructed adjacent to Outfall H-12 with SCDHEC approval (Mullinax 2007). The pilot-scale study was performed by the Savannah River National Laboratory's (SRNL) Environmental Science and Biotechnology Directorate personnel. Since the construction and operation of the pilot-scale peat bed facility, however, a new strategy for achieving compliance of Outfall H-12 effluent with the new permit limits has been selected. This new strategy incorporates a variety of efforts including source reduction, recalculation of limits using an aquatic species that is indigenous to the area instead of a standard species, and dissolved organic carbon addition to reduce copper toxicity. This report documents the construction and operation of the pilot-scale treatment system, the results obtained, and recommendations on the usefulness of this technology for Outfall H-12 or other outfalls at SRS.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-TR-2007-00365
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • DOI: 10.2172/919045 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 919045
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc881982

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  • October 22, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 2, 2016, 1:01 p.m.

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Halverson, N; Ralph Nichols, R & Topher Berry, T. PILOT PEAT-BED TREATMENT SYSTEM FOR NPDES OUTFALL H-12, report, October 22, 2007; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc881982/: accessed June 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.