Air-gap System critical component at Nuke Facility

Metropolitan Industries supplied a large air-gap break tank system that isolates processes from the source water feed for the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington.

The Manhattan Project was the effort, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, which resulted in the development of the first atomic bomb during World War II according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Hanford Site near Richland, Washington, was one of the main locations for the project due to its isolation and its proximity near the Columbia River, which could supply sufficient water to cool the nuclear reactors that produced plutonium during World War II.

The Hanford Site is now the focus of cleanup efforts which is the mission of Prime Contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company. They are tasked with cleaning up waste sites and treating contaminated groundwater to ensure a healthy future for the Columbia River. To accomplish this goal, CH2M HILL is currently working on groundwater treatment and remediation efforts under way through Hanford’s 100 area and Central Plateau, which includes a total of 11 groundwater operable units.

The task of this project is enormous with on-going efforts to remediate 39 waste sites and more than 250,000 tons of soil left behind by operations on the Hanford Site; installing 327 wells across the site that will extract, monitor, and remediate contaminated groundwater; and treating 625 million gallons of contaminated groundwater to slow further migration toward the Columbia River.

Metropolitan Industries, Inc. participated in the remediation process by supplying a large air-gap break tank system that isolates processes from the source water feed for the 200 W Pump & Treat facility at Hanford.

Working together with Project Engineer CH2M Hill located in Englewood, Co., University Mechanical Contractors located in Mukilteo, Wa., and Metropolitan Representative PumpTech, Inc located in Moses Lake, Wa., Metropolitan Industries supplied a custom-designed triplex, pressure booster system with air gap protection for the potable water supply, a 2,100 gallon tank with a system capacity rated for 580 gallons per minute.

“This is a large air gap system,” says Mike Tierney, national sales manager who oversaw design and production of this project. “We are always asked if we can build large air-gap systems and this is evidence that we can,” he said. According to Tierney, air-gap systems typically range anywhere from 100-200 gallons per minute. This system is triple that capacity at 580 gallons per minute.

Other features of the system include a U.L. listed control panel with intuitive operator interface and touch screen control. Metropolitan Industries is one of the few pump system manufactures with a U.L. control panel shop in-house. This capability reduces costs while increasing quality.

Prior to shipping, Metropolitan verified the system in their test lab to ensure precise operation in the field. With the added value of system testing, the contractor simply had to make their connections, which dramatically reduced their startup time.

Shipment of the large system occurred early second quarter of 2011. Metropolitan was pleased to be part of such an important environmental project. For more information about air-gap break tank systems, please contact Mike Tierney at 815-886-9200 ext 234.

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