WorldWide Drilling Resource

36 SEPTEMBER 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® residual drill cuttings and pipes left over from installing wells. N3B also monitors ground- water beneath LANL and controls the potential off-site migration of stormwater. The purged well water is stagnant water removed from monitoring wells before sampling - a process ensuring samples are representative of actual aquifer conditions, including potential contamination. After storing about 260,000 gallons of well water in tanks across LANL sites, crews found a lack of available holding tanks, which could impact cleanup operations, especially where EM-LA operates a treatment system for chromium-contaminated groundwater beneath LANL. Shipment of the well water began with about 32,000 gallons, or eight truckloads, leaving Mortandad Canyon each week. Other materials being dispositioned included hazardous preservatives once used to safeguard stormwater samples dur- ing transport to analytical laboratories, as well as low-level radiological waste, such as pit liners used during well installation to contain drill cuttings with trace levels of manmade radionuclides, unstable forms of chemical elements releasing radiation as they break down. Erik Loechell, a program manager with N3B said, “Along with operations being impeded if we didn’t remove these mate- rials, their disposition was critical to upholding our environmental stewardship mission. We don’t want that waste getting into the environment.” As part of the process to disposition transition materials, crews research and follow historical leads to suc- cessfully locate credible analytical data as needed. That data is then correlated with information on the containers to confirm their contents. Loechell emphasized, “That confirmation process is critical, as we don’t ever want to incorrectly ship some- thing.” The materials were slated for shipment for off-site disposal earlier this year. About 170 cubic yards of solid waste and 30,000 gallons of well water were also scheduled for disposal at that time. Prior to shipment, the materials were stored in safe configurations, with solid waste primarily kept in lined and sealed containers and well water stored in tanks routinely monitored for structural integrity. Legacy continued from page 33