- Water Storage
Low-level Radioactivity Testing
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This is the earliest nuclear contamination site in the United States. Due to a
reactor core accident, the entire area was contaminated in the early 1950's.
Cleanup has taken decades, and it is necessary to check runoff water for radioactivity
so that it can be treated before it is released into the local stream. The testing takes
48 hours, so all water must be contained for at least this long before it can be released.
Using a flat field that was already decontaminated, a 7' high berm was constructed
at the low end. This was the starting point for the six 6' x 50' AquaDams®, each
of which has a water storage capacity of approximately 100,000 gallons.
The fill tubes are shown draped over the top of the berm. This is where
the water is pumped in or out of the AquaDams®. Having the open end of the
AquaDams® at the low end of the flat area allows all of the water to naturally
drain toward the fill tubes so that it can be easily pumped out.
This site had a large baker tank farm, but each tank only held 10,000 gallons of
water, and rented for $1,000 per month. The cost of all of the AquaDams® for the
duration of the project was under $45,000. Plus, the baker tanks would have to be
decontaminated after use, but the AquaDams® are disposable (12,000 more lbs., added
to the millions of pounds of soil already disposed of in Utah). 12,000 lbs. is a very
small amount of weight to dispose of to control 600,000 gallons of water.