U.S. Water News Online
AVONDALE, Colo. -- The Army is building three treatment
plants in hopes of keeping explosives-contaminated groundwater from
migrating off the 20,000-plus-acre Pueblo Chemical Depot.
``We are well on the way to halting the contamination that's going
off post,'' depot commander Lt. Col. John Megnia said recently.
Two of the systems will use filtration followed by treatment with
granular activated carbon. Groundwater will be extracted from wells
now being installed, sent through the system, and then put back in
A third system will be similar, but will add a process to remove
The Army installed a treatment system in the town's public well
last December after a byproduct of the explosive TNT was found in the
water. Numerous private citizens whose wells are contaminated have
been receiving bottled water from the Army for nearly two years.
Megnia said construction of the treatment systems, scheduled to be
completed by June 7, will cost $6 million to $7 million, and ongoing
maintenance and monitoring will cost about $1 million a year.
The state health department will oversee the process, as well as
testing and monitoring of the completed plants, as part of a
compliance order issued to the Army after off-base contamination was
The order gives the Army until June 4 of next year to halt all
contaminant migration off base.
The contamination is the byproduct of a TNT washout facility built
in the 1940s and abandoned in the 1970s.
Wharry said the operation involved hosing down used or obsolete
munitions to reclaim the vessels they filled.
The explosives residue was sent into an unlined ditch that fed an
unlined lagoon, he said.
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