Waste minimization opportunities at the U.S. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project, Rifle, Colorado, site
Description: At two uranium mill sites in Rifle, Colorado, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project is removing uranium mill tailings and contaminated subgrade soils. This remediation activity will result in the production of groundwater contaminated with uranium, heavy metals, ammonia, sulfates, and total dissolved solids (TDS). The initial remediation plan called for a wastewater treatment plant for removal of the uranium, heavy metals, and ammonia, with disposal of the treated water, which still includes the sulfates and TDSS, to the Colorado River. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permit issued by the Colorado Department of Health for the two Rifle sites contained more restrictive discharge limits than originally anticipated. During the detailed review of alternate treatment systems to meet these more restrictive limits, the proposed construction procedures were reviewed emphasizing the methods to minimize groundwater production to reduce the size of the water treatment facility, or to eliminate it entirely. It was determined that with changes to the excavation procedures and use of the contaminated groundwater for use in dust suppression at the disposal site, discharge to the river could be eliminated completely.
Date: December 31, 1993
Creator: Hartmann, George L.; Arp, Sharon & Hempill, Hugh
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department