Hill AFB using iron to clean up groundwater

Hill AFB using iron to clean up groundwater

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AP) -- Workers at Hill Air Force Base have finished putting iron in the soil on the base's west side to stem groundwater pollution.

The treatment involves filling eight bore holes with grains of iron that was once part of dummy bombs.

The iron is supposed to react with another substance in the soil, trichloroethene (try-klor-o-ETH'-een), which is a potential carcinogen that has been seeping underground since the 1940s.

As contaminated groundwater reaches the 56-foot-deep bore holes, the iron and TCE will react, making the TCE inert by stripping it of chloride, which was used as a degreaser on base until the 1970s.

The base will monitor the bore holes over the next year-and-a-half. If successful, the method could be used for the entire contaminated groundwater plume.

Information from: Deseret News

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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