Regional Downgradient Investigation
Following initiation of Phase I of NERT’s Remedial Investigation, NDEP took the lead role on a separate parallel investigation, implemented to determine if perchlorate and chlorate had migrated from the NERT site and impacted groundwater quality near the Las Vegas Wash. To that end, NDEP hired AECOM with the goal of identifying the extent of perchlorate and chlorate impacts along the Las Vegas Wash and areas of perchlorate flux from groundwater to the Las Vegas Wash. The Las Vegas Wash is the central physical feature that defines the downgradient area. The objectives of the downgradient investigation include:
- Characterize magnitude and extent of groundwater impacts from the former Kerr-McGee/Tronox site to the Las Vegas Wash. (This is the big picture view point.)
- Evaluate pathways allowing perchlorate to move from groundwater into the Las Vegas Wash. (Where is the perchlorate coming into the Wash.)
- Quantify perchlorate flux into Las Vegas Wash. (How much perchlorate is coming into the Wash.)
- Complete downgradient investigation such that the results can be incorporated into NERT’s Remedial Investigation. (Keep both investigation parallel and not sequential.)
Downgradient Investigation Field Work
AECOM started its field work in the downgradient investigation in Spring 2016. Preliminary results confirm the presence of perchlorate in shallow groundwater along the Las Vegas Wash. To date, two Technical Memorandums have been finalized and will become part of NERT’s Remedial Investigation report. Field work to date includes:
- One round of groundwater samples have been obtained, analyzed, and reported.
- One round of surface water and seep grab samples have been obtained, analyzed, and reported.
- Geophysical pilot testing of various geophysical methods has been completed to assess the ability to remotely sense the changes in geology with the subsurface. Field work was conducted during Winter 2016-2017 and a report is pending.
- Installation of ten temporary surface water gages and data recorders.
The next steps for AECOM are filling data gaps that were found after examining existing and recently collected data. Field work for this part of the investigation should begin in 2017.
Dewatering Ion Exchange System
NERT began construction of an ion exchange treatment system near the Las Vegas Wash in the third quarter of 2017. In January 2018, the system began treating shallow groundwater associated with the construction of the Southern Nevada Water Authority's final two erosion control structures along the Las Vegas Wash. Dewatering and treatment of the dewatered water is expected to continue until September 2018. More than 4,000 pounds of perchlorate were removed between January and May 2018.
Visit the Nert Document Repository to download additional documents.
*Appendices have been omitted from this document. For a copy of the full report, please contact Carlton Parker.
March 13, 2018 - Bureau of Reclamation releases Finding of No Significant Impact and Final Environmental Assessment for Right-of-Use Downgradient Study Area Activities - United States Bureau of Reclamation
January 18, 2018 - Plant to remove chemical from groundwater (PDF, 1.33 MB) - Las Vegas Review Journal**
January 4, 2018 - Water treatment plant aims to keep chemical out of the Lake Mead - Las Vegas Review Journal**
January 4, 2018 - NERT Water Treatment - Las Vegas Sun**
January 3, 2018 - Weir and water treatment system inauguration event (PDF, 115 KB) - NDEP
September 8, 2017 - Las Vegas Wash trail to close next week for construction work - Las Vegas Review Journal**
: The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection does not offer any guarantee, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, validity, or completeness of the information presented by a third-party. Furthermore, the views or opinions expressed by a third-party do not reflect the views or opinions of the Division.
For more information, please contact Carlton Parker at jcarltonparker [at] ndep.nv.gov or 702-486-2850 x228.