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Title: Finding Balance Between Biological Groundwater Treatment and Treated Injection Water

At the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site, CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company operates the 200 West Pump and Treat which was engineered to treat radiological and chemical contaminants in groundwater as a result of the site’s former plutonium production years. Fluidized bed bioreactors (FBRs) are used to remove nitrate, metals, and volatile organic compounds. Increasing nitrate concentrations in the treatment plant effluent and the presence of a slimy biomass (a typical microorganism response to stress) in the FBRs triggered an investigation of nutrient levels in the system. Little, if any, micronutrient feed was coming into the bioreactors. Additionally, carbon substrate (used to promote biological growth) was passing through to the injection wells, causing biological fouling of the wells and reduced specific injectivity. Adjustments to the micronutrient feed improved microorganism health, but the micronutrients were being overfed (particularly manganese) plugging the injection wells further. Injection well rehabilitation to restore specific injectivity required repeated treatments to remove the biological fouling and precipitated metal oxides. A combination of sulfamic and citric acids worked well to dissolve metal oxides and sodium hypochlorite effectively removed the biological growth. Intensive surging and development techniques successfully removed clogging material from the injection wells. Ultimately, the investigationmore » and nutrient adjustments took months to restore proper balance to the microbial system and over a year to stabilize injection well capacities. Carefully tracking and managing the FBRs and well performance monitoring are critical to balancing the needs of the treatment system while reducing fouling mechanisms in the injection wells.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
SGW-58170-FP Rev 0
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2015 Waste Management Symposia 03/15/2015 - 03/19/2015 Phoenix, AZ
Research Org:
Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Contributing Orgs:
CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company, Department of Energy - Richland Operations Office
Country of Publication:
United States