The Land Protection Branch of the EPD began working on identifying a treatment solution in January 2016 for the 84-acre site, including partnering with KEMRON Environmental (KEMRON), to conduct testing to determine the most appropriate clean-up methods for the onsite sludge and wastewater treatment before final disposal. At that time, it was estimated there was between 18-26 million gallons of wastewater, at least 20 abandoned drums, along with an unknown volume of associated sludge within the ponds. While most of the sludge was dewatered and disposed of in approved landfills, the wastewater treatment plan was still being evaluated. In September 2018, the EPD issued a NPDES Permit to KEMRON for the discharge of the treated onsite wastewater into Allen Creek.
In early 2019, KEMRON authorized Nclear to conduct a series of laboratory bench scale tests to analyze the potential treatment benefits of Nclear’s patented wastewater treatment solutions, including TPX™ for phosphorus reduction and ElectrX™ for ammonia reduction. After successfully demonstrating effective jar testing of numerous wastewater samples from multiple onsite pond sources in Nclear’s corporate laboratory, an onsite Pilot Evaluation (PE) for the treatment of the ponded wastewater was authorized by EPD and began in June 2019. Initially focused on just one onsite source (Pond 8), the scope was later modified to evaluate two additional ponds (Ponds 4 & 5).
Nclear’s mobile pilot configuration included an acidulation/aeration tank, TPX™ slurry system, custom-built Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) unit with multiple chemical injection points and floc tubes for mixing polymers and coagulants, brine storage tank, ElectrX™ system, and solids screening.
Nclear’s onsite laboratory provided real-time analysis of daily final effluent composite samples for pH, TP, Ortho P (OP), and COD. Composite samples were also sent to a local third-party lab for independent verification of results and additional analyses of BOD, NH3, O&G, TKN and TSS.
Based on the favorable outcomes achieved during this PE, in early 2020 Nclear was awarded a Contract Service Agreement from KEMRON to implement a full-scale treatment system funded by EPD. This Agreement includes the design, construction, and operation of a 300 gpm mobile wastewater treatment plant located onsite. It is expected that treatment of all onsite ponded water will be complete by Q4 2021. Operation is anticipated to commence in January 2021.