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An Air Force Base in Texas went through Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) in 2001. As part of this process, portions of the base were subleased to several new industrial tenants who perform similar aircraft maintenance and repair work.

The Air Force Base operated its own pretreatment facility, which directly discharged to surface waters under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. With BRAC, operations which formerly directly discharged to the pretreatment facility were now conducted by industrial tenants who neither owned or operated the facility. An economic evaluation was conducted to determine pretreatment alternatives under the new scenario. This economic evaluation looked at modifying the existing facility to allow continued use as is, modifying the existing facility to pretreat and directly discharge to the publicly owned treatment works (POTW), building a new pretreatment facility for use by all tenants, building individual pretreatment systems, and the cost for no pretreatment (hauling wastewater offsite for pretreatment/disposal).

During the partitioning of the AFB into several sections operated by private tenants, several technical, liability, and regulatory issues developed which caused individual maintenance of pretreatment systems to be more viable than continued use of the existing AFB WWPF. Technical and regulatory issues continue with respect to responsibility for the actual stormwater collection system.

Prior to shutting down and dismantling the pretreatment system, the industrial tenants individually determined the best business option for their operations. For one tenant, CH2M HILL collected analytical data on three industrial wastewater sources for approximately 6 months, and then conducted a pretreatment alternatives evaluation. As a result, some of the water was directly discharged to the local POTW and a treatability study was performed for removal of cyanide and heavy metals. This evaluation led to predesign of a pretreatment system, which was used to solicit bids from pretreatment system vendors.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-01-01

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