Case Study: Starmet CMI Superfund

Wastewater found at the Starmet CMI Superfund site had 6% salt as potassium and sodium chloride, depleted uranium with contamination levels of up to 210,000 pCi/L as well as a pH of 10-11. WRS and USEPA Region IV scientific staff performed bench scale studies of cross linked super absorbent polymers (SAP) (polyacrylate and polyacrylamide) from four manufacturers.

It was determined through the bench scale testing that the cross linked polyacrylate supplied by ZappaTec was the most efficient absorbent material. This resulted in operational efficiency and significant cost savings. The absorbent add mix specified by the treatability study is approximately 20 pounds wastewater to 1 pound polyacrylate.

A wastewater evaporation treatment system was custom built per engineering specifications. The evaporation system achieves an average of 85% reduction in volume during a 25 hour cycle time. Following wastewater reduction, the concentrated brine is discharged to a lined roll-off container staged within the treatment plant. Following 5 evaporator discharges, WRS personnel solidify the concentrated brine with the cross linked SAP material supplied by Zappa Tec. Once the roll-off containers are filled and solidified, they are direct-loaded for transportation and disposal at the radioactive waste disposal facility at Envirocare of Utah in Clive, UT.