Case Studies: Where and How Technologies Are Being Used
Rancho Cordova, California
At the Aerojet site in Rancho Cordova, California, an extensive system of wells and pipes has been drilled to prevent water migration off site, to isolate water in the underground plume, and to pump water out for treatment. Five treatment facilities are in operation.
As its primary cleanup technology, the company is using the biological treatment process that involves pumping water through biological treatment units that were originally seeded with nonpathogenic bacteria from a strawberry jam manufacturing company.
So far, the company has spent more than $35 million on perchlorate remediation, treating more than six billion gallons of water at a rate of five million gallons per day. The system has recently been expanded to treat nine million gallons daily.
A significant amount of testing is also under way by Aerojet to use biological treatment to break down perchlorate in the groundwater as well as in the soil. All perchlorate cleanup technologies developed by Aerojet have been made publicly available.
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Kerr-McGee Chemical continues remediation of groundwater from the former ammonium perchlorate production site in Henderson, Nevada, under the direction and oversight of the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP). In 1998, the company began implementing temporary remediation solutions, including two ion exchange units to meet the requirements of the company's consent agreements with the NDEP. In addition, an underground barrier was installed at the plant site to block water containing perchlorate from migrating into the Las Vegas Wash.
Kerr-McGee now is installing a new bio-remediation technology developed by U.S. Filter. The temporary ion exchange units at the Kerr-McGee Chemical site will continue to operate until the U.S. Filter bio-technology is completed and successfully operating.
The company's remediation efforts are proving successful. Perchlorate removal efficiency, from treated water, has been as high as 99 percent.
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Edwards Air Force Base, California
Edwards Air Force Base also is using ion exchange to remove perchlorate from water. It has field-tested a recently developed chemical regeneration process that may significantly reduce the cost of disposing of perchlorate waste. This technology passed an important test in 2001, when a cleanup experiment involving groundwater from Edwards Air Force Base was judged an overall success.
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