Office of Environmental Management

West Valley Advances Cleanup With Removal of Pump-and-Treat System

November 6, 2018

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Crews pour grout into the well pump casing to stabilize it before pulling out the well pump.
Crews pour grout into the well pump casing to stabilize it before pulling out the well pump.

WEST VALLEY, N.Y. – Workers recently removed a former pump-and-treat system at EM’s West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) site, allowing for continued cleanup progress.

   “The WVDP team continues to make steady and meaningful progress on reducing the environmental legacy risks and footprint of the site in a safe and compliant manner,” EM WVDP Director Bryan Bower said. “Our crews did an excellent job in their planning and safe execution of this demolition work.”

Workers prepare to remove a well pump from a former pump-and-treat system at EM’s West Valley Demonstration Project site.
Workers prepare to remove a well pump from a former pump-and-treat system at EM’s West Valley Demonstration Project site.

   Joe Ebert, a manager with CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley, EM’s WVDP cleanup contractor, commended the work crews.

   “Our team continues to use their expertise, knowledge, and lessons learned to safely perform onsite demolition in an environmentally conscious manner,” Ebert said.

   Workers began the pump-and-treat system demolition last month. They used a backhoe to pull the well pump from the ground. Crews filled the pump’s well casing with grout to stabilize it. Using the backhoe, they lifted the well pump and its casing from the ground, allowing the grout to fill the void left by the entire pump assembly.

A backhoe is used to pull the well pump and casing from the ground after workers stabilized the casing with grout.
A backhoe is used to pull the well pump and casing from the ground after workers stabilized the casing with grout.

   The treatment system was installed to mitigate the groundwater plume that originated from historical releases at the site’s Main Plant Process Building. A permeable treatment wall has since replaced that system. The wall is an approximately 850-foot-long trench that contains nearly 2,000 metric tons of zeolite, a naturally occurring mineral formed from volcanic ash. The zeolite strips the contaminant strontium-90 from the groundwater passing through the wall.

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