Basewide Monitoring & Innovative Remedial Systems Beale Air Force Base


Courtesy of CH2M Hill Companies, Ltd.

Basewide Monitoring and Innovative Remedial Systems

Project Description

Facing a twofold problem involving highly contaminated soil and groundwater in a sensitive habitat area, the Environmental Restoration Team at Beale Air Force Base designed a habitat enhancing solution to stop contamination from degrading groundwater and a stream in the area.

In 1995, the U.S. Air Force discovered trichlorethylene (TCE)-contaminated groundwater seeping into Best Slough, a perennial stream located on Beale Air Force Base north of Sacramento, California.

To control the TCE-contaminated groundwater from flowing into Best Slough, a 2,000-foot-long slurry wall—creating a physical barrier— was installed around the source zone of the contamination. Next, 1,600 feet of new stream channel was created to route Best Slough to flow around the contamination. This action, combined with a high density planting of native plant species inside the contaminated groundwater source zone, works to stop contaminated groundwater from ending up in Best Slough. Instead of using standard technologies, such as excavating the soil and pumping the groundwater, or using electrically-powered pumps to control the movement of groundwater, this green solution saved more than $12 million in up-front costs. Another factor contributing to added cost savings in the millions of dollars is the low long-term life cycle cost for operation and maintenance.

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