Aquifer Solutions, Inc. Wins Award for Treating Explosives in Groundwater

Design-build environmental services provider Aquifer Solutions, Inc., based in Evergreen, Colo., has been awarded the 2008 Project Merit Award in the remediation and restoration category by Environmental Business Journal.

The magazine selected Aquifer Solutions for completing a design/build project involving the construction of a 2,000-foot-long bioremediation reactive barrier for treating high explosives and chromium in groundwater. The project was conducted at the Department of Energy's Pantex Plant in Texas, where the barrier treats perched groundwater overlying the Ogallala Aquifer, a vital and increasingly depleted source of water for Texas and the Great Plains.

According to Aquifer Solutions, in situ bioremediation of high explosives is a newly developed innovative technology, and this large-scale project and its preceding pilot advanced the industry's understanding of the alternatives.

The "bio barrier" involved the injection of 0.9 million gallons of amendment into 42 injection wells screened at a depth of 275 feet below ground surface. The project involved 2.5 miles of drilling, the construction of 2 miles of buried pipeline, and the construction and operation of a fully automated, computer-controlled mixing and injection system. The project was completed on schedule, and 30,000 hours of work were conducted with a 100 percent safety record.

DOE entered into an accelerated clean-up agreement with the state of Texas, and completion of the reactive barrier was a significant milestone for the Pantex Plant. The barrier project was completed within budget. The reactive barrier uses bioremediation technology, where indigenous soil microbes are stimulated using a carbon-based amendment. The indigenous soil microbes create anaerobic conditions and biodegrade the target contaminants.