Paducah Site Improves Groundwater Treatment

Nine new monitoring wells have been installed in the northeast section of EM’s Paducah Site, representing the first phase of a project to enhance groundwater treatment.

Data from the new wells will support the project’s next phase, which includes installing an additional 13 monitoring wells, two extraction wells, and a new treatment facility to augment the existing pump-and-treat unit. The next phase begins when samples from the nine new monitoring wells are assessed.

A horseshoe-shaped area of contaminated groundwater plumes containing trichloroethene (TCE) extends under the site. TCE was used to clean equipment when the gaseous diffusion plant operated. The chemical’s use was discontinued in the early 1990s. 

Two pump-and-treat operations reduced the size of the plumes’ high-concentration portion. More than 3.6 billion gallons of water were treated and more than 4,200 gallons of contamination were removed from the groundwater. 

“The optimization project is another positive step in containing and controlling the groundwater contamination at the Paducah Site,” said Dave Dollins, project manager with EM’s Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO).

Fluor Federal Services, as EM’s prime contractor for the Paducah Deactivation Project, is setting up the new systems. 

“The first phase of installing the new monitoring wells is a major undertaking and key to the successful outcome of the optimization,” Fluor Paducah Deactivation Project Environmental Management Director Myrna Redfield said.