Update to air-gap system installed at former uranium production 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.

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 former uranium production facility in Hanford, Wash., one of the main locations for the Manhattan project due to its isolation and its proximity near the Columbia River, which could supply sufficient water to cool the nuclear reactors that produced uranium during World War II, has been focusing its efforts in the site’s cleanup and treating contaminated groundwater to ensure a healthy future for the Columbia River.

To accomplish this goal, Project Engineer CH2M HILL of Englewood, Col., has been working on groundwater treatment and remediation efforts through Hanford’s 100 area and Central Plateau, which includes a total of 11 groundwater operable units.

Although there is still a lot more work involved in the cleanup, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that over 650 pounds of contamination from Hanford groundwater has been removed in the past two years, which has exceeded its goal by over 100 pounds.

In 2011, Metropolitan Industries supplied a large air-gap break tank system that isolates processes from the source water feed for the 200 Pump & Treatment facility at Hanford.

Working together with CH2M Hill, University Mechanical Contractors located in Mukilteo, Wa., and Metropolitan Representative PumpTech, Inc located in Moses Lake, Wa., Metropolitan Industries supplied a custom-designed triplex water 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.

Other features of the system include a U.L. listed control panel with intuitive operator interface and touch screen control. This capability reduces costs while increasing quality.

According to a recent release from DOE and CH2M Hill, the ability to maintain a safe and ideal operation of its treatment technologies has allowed DOE to exceed in its groundwater cleanup goals again this year.

“Our contractor removed more chromium than forecasted this year by pulling more groundwater from the areas of highest contamination,” said DOE Richland’s Soil and Groundwater Division Director Briant Charboneau. “Having extraction wells in the right place and adding new treatment systems over the past few years has been critical to our success in removing contamination from groundwater and protecting the Columbia River.”

Metropolitan’s air-gap systems have become a major component in facilities where physical protection is needed. With the goal of protecting a city’s water supply, there is a real need for a reliable system that is a fail-safe solution to protecting the water.

You can find more information on the Hanford site’s progress here: http://www.hanford.gov/news.cfm/DOE/140812HanfordGroundwater.pdf

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