Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Iron Wall Planned for Cleaning Up Wyoming Groundwater Contamination

By Duane Craig

When you think of Wyoming you might think of wide-open spaces, air so clean you can’t even tell you’re breathing, and pristine water you can just scoop up from the nearby stream to quench your larger-than-life thirst. You must be living the dream.
Well, perhaps not everywhere in Wyoming, because the state’s military force has been there before you, and it’s left some problems. Throughout the 1940s and into the 1970s the Wyoming Air NationalGuard used the solvents trichloroethylene and carbon tetrachloride to clean flying machines. The contaminants are now in the groundwater under the Indian Hills subdivision in Cheyenne.
But this story has an interesting form of remediation. The solution that was recently announced will entail building a $9 million wall below ground that will filter the groundwater as it passes through it. The wall will be made of iron. The cleaned water will replace the contaminated water.
There were four other steps in this process that involved cleaning the contaminants from the soil and those started in 2006. The wall is expected to be built in 2012, paid for by the Air Guard, and the rest of the remediation will continue for another 30 years.

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