Grand Island, NE Utilizes New Water Treatment System to Reduce Uranium Levels
Rising uranium levels in Grand Island's water supply have led the city to utilize a new water treatment system.
The Utilities Department regularly monitors its water sources for compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency and State Health Department regulations.
While the uranium level in the water was still below the regulated maximum contaminant level, the Utilities Department observed an increasing trend of naturally occurring uranium in its groundwater source at the Platte River Well-field, from which Grand Island receives almost all of its municipal water.
To ensure the uranium levels remained below regulation limits, the department evaluated options and decided to proceed with a water treatment system from Water Remediation Technologies (WRT).
This uranium treatment system is a large-scale pilot project which will treat three of the 21 wells at the well-field. The treated water from the three wells will be blended with other wells supplying the city demand and reduce the overall uranium levels.
This is the largest system of its type in the nation and would allow the department a modular approach for future treatment of additional water sources if it becomes necessary.
The treatment system was installed at a cost of $3 million, and WRT will provide maintenance services, including the treatment media disposal and replacement, for 10 years at a cost of approximately $800,000 per year. The contract for the system was awarded the summer of 2011; construction began at the site in December 2011.
Startup operations by Department staff and WRT field personnel are in process.