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Title: Monticello Mill Tailings Site Operable Unit III Annual Groundwater Report May 2014 Through April 2015, October 2015

Abstract

This report provides the annual analysis of water quality restoration progress, cumulative through April 2015, for Operable Unit (OU) III, surface water and groundwater, of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management Monticello Mill Tailings Site (MMTS). The MMTS is a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act National Priorities List site located in and near the city of Monticello, San Juan County, Utah. MMTS comprises the 110-acre site of a former uranium- and vanadium-ore-processing mill (mill site) and 1,700 acres of surrounding private and municipal property. Milling operations generated 2.5 million cubic yards of waste (tailings) from 1942 to 1960. The tailings were impounded at four locations on the mill site. Inorganic constituents in the tailings drained from the impoundments to contaminate local surface water (Montezuma Creek) and groundwater in the underlying alluvial aquifer. Mill tailings dispersed by wind and water also contaminated properties surrounding and downstream of the mill site. Remedial actions to remove and isolate radiologically contaminated soil, sediment, and debris from the former mill site (OU I) and surrounding properties (OU II) were completed in 1999 with the encapsulation of the wastes in an engineered repository located on DOE property 1 mile southmore » of the former mill site. Contamination of groundwater and surface water remains within OU III at levels that exceed water quality protection standards. Uranium is the primary contaminant of concern. LM implemented monitored natural attenuation with institutional controls as the OU III remedy in 2004. Because groundwater restoration proceeded more slowly than expected and did not meet performance criteria established in the OU III Record of Decision (June 2004), LM implemented a contingency action in 2009 by an Explanation of Significant Difference to include a pump-and-treat system using a single extraction well and treatment by zero-valent iron (ex-situ treatment system). The contingency action was optimized in 2015 with the installation of 8 extraction wells and 16 monitoring wells in a focused area of the aquifer (area of attainment). Contaminated water is treated by solar evaporation at an existing onsite LM facility. Environmental monitoring at OU III consists of twice-yearly (April and October) collection and analysis of hydrologic and water-quality data from an established network of observation wells, seeps, and surface water locations. The scope of monitoring was expanded in 2009 for the ex situ treatment system and in 2015 for the remedy optimization system. Operation and monitoring of the ex situ treatment system was discontinued in 2014 with the start-up of the remedy optimization system. No data anomalies for OU III water quality trending or restoration progress are identified for the May 2014 through April 2015 reporting period. Although some regions of the aquifer demonstrate decreasing concentration trends, such trending is not evident for the bulk of the aquifer and a prolonged restoration period is indicated. The groundwater contingency remedy optimization system captures significant contaminant mass (primarily uranium) from the area of attainment; however, because that system only became operational in 2015, a long-term forecast of restoration progress is premature.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. USDOE Office of Legacy Management, Washington, DC (United States)
  2. Navarro Research and Engineering, Inc., Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
USDOE Office of Legacy Management, Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Legacy Management (LM), Office of Site Operations (LM-20)
OSTI Identifier:
1349684
Report Number(s):
S13007
DOE Contract Number:  
LM0000421
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Surface and groundwater annual report; Monticello, UT

Citation Formats

Nguyen, Jason, and Smith, Fred. Monticello Mill Tailings Site Operable Unit III Annual Groundwater Report May 2014 Through April 2015, October 2015. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.2172/1349684.
Nguyen, Jason, & Smith, Fred. Monticello Mill Tailings Site Operable Unit III Annual Groundwater Report May 2014 Through April 2015, October 2015. United States. doi:10.2172/1349684.
Nguyen, Jason, and Smith, Fred. Thu . "Monticello Mill Tailings Site Operable Unit III Annual Groundwater Report May 2014 Through April 2015, October 2015". United States. doi:10.2172/1349684. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1349684.
@article{osti_1349684,
title = {Monticello Mill Tailings Site Operable Unit III Annual Groundwater Report May 2014 Through April 2015, October 2015},
author = {Nguyen, Jason and Smith, Fred},
abstractNote = {This report provides the annual analysis of water quality restoration progress, cumulative through April 2015, for Operable Unit (OU) III, surface water and groundwater, of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management Monticello Mill Tailings Site (MMTS). The MMTS is a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act National Priorities List site located in and near the city of Monticello, San Juan County, Utah. MMTS comprises the 110-acre site of a former uranium- and vanadium-ore-processing mill (mill site) and 1,700 acres of surrounding private and municipal property. Milling operations generated 2.5 million cubic yards of waste (tailings) from 1942 to 1960. The tailings were impounded at four locations on the mill site. Inorganic constituents in the tailings drained from the impoundments to contaminate local surface water (Montezuma Creek) and groundwater in the underlying alluvial aquifer. Mill tailings dispersed by wind and water also contaminated properties surrounding and downstream of the mill site. Remedial actions to remove and isolate radiologically contaminated soil, sediment, and debris from the former mill site (OU I) and surrounding properties (OU II) were completed in 1999 with the encapsulation of the wastes in an engineered repository located on DOE property 1 mile south of the former mill site. Contamination of groundwater and surface water remains within OU III at levels that exceed water quality protection standards. Uranium is the primary contaminant of concern. LM implemented monitored natural attenuation with institutional controls as the OU III remedy in 2004. Because groundwater restoration proceeded more slowly than expected and did not meet performance criteria established in the OU III Record of Decision (June 2004), LM implemented a contingency action in 2009 by an Explanation of Significant Difference to include a pump-and-treat system using a single extraction well and treatment by zero-valent iron (ex-situ treatment system). The contingency action was optimized in 2015 with the installation of 8 extraction wells and 16 monitoring wells in a focused area of the aquifer (area of attainment). Contaminated water is treated by solar evaporation at an existing onsite LM facility. Environmental monitoring at OU III consists of twice-yearly (April and October) collection and analysis of hydrologic and water-quality data from an established network of observation wells, seeps, and surface water locations. The scope of monitoring was expanded in 2009 for the ex situ treatment system and in 2015 for the remedy optimization system. Operation and monitoring of the ex situ treatment system was discontinued in 2014 with the start-up of the remedy optimization system. No data anomalies for OU III water quality trending or restoration progress are identified for the May 2014 through April 2015 reporting period. Although some regions of the aquifer demonstrate decreasing concentration trends, such trending is not evident for the bulk of the aquifer and a prolonged restoration period is indicated. The groundwater contingency remedy optimization system captures significant contaminant mass (primarily uranium) from the area of attainment; however, because that system only became operational in 2015, a long-term forecast of restoration progress is premature.},
doi = {10.2172/1349684},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {10}
}