40,000-gallon equalization tank for groundwater collection on left, 2000 gallon condensate collection tank on right. Air stripping towers in the background – Image (c) U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki, 2018 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

By John Laferriere

The basin of air stripping tower #2, the last stage of water treatment prior to release – Image (c) U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki, 2018 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

On April 3, Hanscom Air Force Base and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) conducted a tour of the main Installation Restoration Program (IRP) sites still undergoing active remediation at Hanscom Field and Hanscom Air Force Base (HAFB).

Interested readers can examine the following document for much greater detail on the history and remediation of these sites: Air Force’s Final Fifth Five-Year Review Report for Hanscom Field/Hanscom Air Force Base Superfund Site, dated September 26, 2017 — https://semspub.epa.gov/work/01/100000682.pdf. The Sixth Five-Year Review Report will be due in 2022.

The tour was part of ongoing efforts to promote community involvement in Hanscom clean-up efforts by the Air Force and was hosted by William Gooden, PE, of the AFCEC.

Bedford residents on the IRP tour included Rick Liou, Ann Seamans, Patty Dahlgren, and Sarah Lance – Courtesy image (c) 2018 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

The approximately 15 attendees included interested Bedford residents, as well as representatives from the U.S. EPA, the Massachusetts DEP, and both the Bedford Board of Health and the Bedford DPW.

The tour started at the groundwater treatment plant (GWTP), located near the end of South Road, where groundwater from several IRP sites is pumped into a 40,000-gallon tank before the treatment process begins.

Groundwater sampling well located near the Bedford Community Gardens on the Jordan Conservation Land off Hartwell Road – Image (c) John Laferriere, 2018 all rights reserved

The plant is a “pump and treat” system, where air-stripping is used to remove volatile organic compounds from the water.  The air is then passed through vapor phase carbon to remove the volatile organic compounds.

At the time of the tour, the plant was not operating due to damage to the power lines caused by the recent heavy snowstorm but was expected to be up and running by mid-April.

The tour then proceeded to IRP sites 2 (a former paint waste disposal area), 1 (a former fire training area), and 3 (a former jet fuel residue and tank sludge disposal area), before proceeding onto HAFB to visit sites 21 and 6, a former petroleum release site and a sanitary sewer treatment plant/landfill/filter bed area respectively.

The last stop on the tour was offsite at a groundwater monitoring well near Bedford’s community gardens located on Hartwell Road.

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