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Title: Efforts to Improve Efficiency of Extraction Well Operation at the Fernald Preserve, Harrison, Ohio – 16177

The Fernald Preserve, a former uranium processing facility that produced high-purity uranium metal products during the Cold War, is located in southwest Ohio. The facility became a US Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management (LM) site in November 2006, following completion of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act environmental remediation and site restoration (with the exception of groundwater). When the site was turned over to LM, approximately 76.5 ha of the Great Miami Aquifer remained contaminated with uranium above the final remediation level of 30 μg/L. Here, uranium contamination is being removed from groundwater in the Great Miami Aquifer through a pump-and-treat operation, which is predicted to continue until 2033. Twenty extraction wells pump about 30 million liters per day. Operation of the system is impacted by iron in the groundwater that promotes iron fouling of the well pumps, motors, and screens. The design of the well field evolved over 21 years and reflected a conservative system that could respond to a wide range of pumping conditions. For instance, some of the extraction wells were sized with pumps and motors that would allow the well to pump up to 1890 L/min (500 gpm) if warranted. The addedmore » flexibility, though, came at the cost of operational efficiency. We describe the efforts that have been taken by LM since the Fernald site was transferred to LM to mitigate the operational impacts from the iron fouling aquifer conditions and improve the efficiency of the well-field operation. Variable-frequency drives were installed at six wells to replace flow control valves. Several wells with oversized pumps and motors were changed from 24-hour per day operation to 8-hour per day operation to allow the pumps to operate closer to their design flow rates. Pumps and motors were “right-sized” at many wells to improve pumping efficiency. The process used to rehabilitate (or clean) well screens was improved, and a process was developed to clean pumps without having to pull them from the well. To reduce pressure drops, improvements were also made to the configuration of the discharge piping. A new control system was installed for each well to allow local control and local tracking of energy used. The amount of energy used daily compared to number of gallons pumped provides a method to assess pump performance and determine when action is necessary to restore well pump efficiency. Additionally, the metrics being employed to help quantify well-field efficiency improvements are described, and the benefits achieved by proactively managing the pump-and-treat operation are presented.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. Navarro Research and Engineering
  2. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Legacy Management
  3. Nararro Research and Engineering
Publication Date:
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Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management, Phoenix AZ, 3/6-3/10 2016
Research Org:
US Department of Energy/Office of Legacy Management
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Legacy Management (LM)
Country of Publication:
United States