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Title: Ultraviolet/Chemical oxidation treatment of RDX-contaminated waters at Picatinny Arsenal
Authors: Fleming, Elizabeth C.
Bricka, R. Mark.
Bailey, Steven R.
Keywords: RDX
Explosives, Military
Water quality
Picatinny Arsenal
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical Report;EL-95-7
Abstract: Abstract: Due to past operations, soils at some military installations have been contaminated with explosives. Past military operations have included production, testing, and disposal of explosive products. This report presents results of a study conducted at the Picatinny Arsenal, which was established in the I 800's. Production of explosives at the site has ceased, but as a result of the past activities, contaminants are migrating into the groundwater due to contaminant transport from the soils. Two technologies were evaluated for the treatment of groundwater contaminated with explosives: ultraviolet/chemical oxidation (UV/ChO) and granular activated carbon adsorption. This report presents the results of the UV/ChO study conducted to determine whether low levels of cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine (RDX) and cyclotetramethylene-tetranitramine (HMX) in the drinking water supply at the site could be treated to the required levels. The concentrations of RDX and HMX in the drinking water supply, sampled from well 410 at the site, are approximately 6 and 2 μg/L, respectively. In the 1980' s, RDX and HMX were below health advisory levels. Health advisory levels were lowered in November 1988 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to 2 and 400 μg/L for RDX and HMX, respectively. The health advisory standards are expected to be adapted as new drinking water standards. HMX concentrations were approximately 2 μg/L, well below the health advisory standard of 400 μg/L. But, RDX concentrations exceeded the proposed standard of 2 μg/L. Preliminary studies and bench-scale studies were conducted to determine whether UV/ChO should be evaluated on the pilot-scale level. Bench-scale studies included three evaluation scenarios: ozone and hydrogen peroxide as oxidizers, UV photolysis alone (without the use of an oxidizer) using two lamp intensities, and two lamp intensities with ozone and hydrogen peroxide. Based upon the results of the bench-scale evaluation, optimum conditions for treatment evaluations on the pilot-scale level were selected. For pilot-scale evaluations, ozone and low intensity UV lamps were evaluated. Two locations were selected for the pilot-scale evaluation. Sampling events revealed that well 410 contains the highest concentrations of RDX, ranging from 4.4 to 6.3 μg/L. Water from well 410 is pumped to a drinking water treatment plant used to remove iron, manganese, and trichloroethylene. The full-scale treatment plant may be located at well 410 or at the treatment facility, so treatment evaluations were conducted at both locations. Results of the pilot-scale study indicated destruction of RDX occurred in less than 3.75 min using UV photolysis alone and UV photolysis with 0.5- and 1.5- percent ozone.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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