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Radium Removal and Disposal in Wisconsin. Norman Hahn, Jr., P.E. Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater Wisconsin DNR. Wisconsin Radionuclide Exceedances. Municipal Systems 26 with combined radium 5 with gross alpha only 2 with uranium OTM Systems 8 with combined radium

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Radium Removal and Disposal in Wisconsin

Norman Hahn, Jr., P.E.

Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater

Wisconsin DNR


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Wisconsin Radionuclide Exceedances

  • Municipal Systems

    • 26 with combined radium

    • 5 with gross alpha only

    • 2 with uranium

  • OTM Systems

    • 8 with combined radium

    • 2 with gross alpha only


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Reduction Methods in WI

  • Replacement/blending with surface water

  • Replacement/blending with low radium content groundwater

  • Approved/existing radium treatment

    • cation exchange softening

    • lime softening

    • HMO filtration

  • Anion exchange for uranium removal (2)


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Reduction Methods in WI (Continued)

  • Piloted Treatment

    • Dow Company RSC (Layne-Northwest)

    • WRT Z-88 selective resin

    • HMO filtration

    • Well geophyiscal investigation & selective packer installation

    • Electrodialysis Reversal (EDR) (1 system)

    • Reverse osmosis (1 system)


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WI Rad Disposal Issues

  • WI DNR & WI DHFS Rad Section have been working on this issue since the 1980’s

  • POTW Ra sludge landfill criteria codified in NR 204 (Also used for lime sludge)

  • WI DNR radionuclide waste disposal guidance updated in 3/04

  • DHFS license required for operation of a facility creating a LL radioactive waste


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WI DNR Rad Waste Disposal Guidance

  • Ra already received at the POTW unless removed by a Ra selective resin

  • Compliance w/10CFR20 Unity Equation for discharges of WW to a sanitary sewer Ra226/600 + Ra228/600 + U/3000 <= 1

  • Compliance w/10CFR20 Unity Equation for discharges of WW to surface water Ra226/60 + Ra228/60 + U/300 <= 1


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WI DNR Rad Waste Disposal Guidance (Continued)

  • Spent WTP media must be examined for rad content prior to disposal

  • Case-by-case DNR review and approval of NORM waste to an engineered WI landfill

  • DHFS consulted before DNR approves rad waste disposal w/rads of 50 to 2,000 pCi/g

  • Waste > 2,000 pCi/g to a LLRW disposal site


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WI DNR Rad Waste Disposal Guidance (Continued)

  • 2002 biosolids disposal in WI (by number of facilities)

    • 94% landspread

    • 3% fertilizer production (example: Milorganite)

    • 2.5% landfill

    • 0.5% incinerate


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WI DNR Rad Waste Disposal Guidance (Continued)

  • POTW landspreading

    • Ra226 the controlling factor (1/2 life & Rn)

    • Max 2 pCi/g (dry weight) in top 12”

    • Soil pH >= 6

    • Minimum organic matter content required

    • Stop at calculated load of 1,640 microC per acre

    • Can sample to extend site life if soils favorable


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WI Rad Waste Disposal Guidance (Continued)

  • Deep well injection not allowed in WI

  • Disposal to a private septic system approved on a case-by-case basis

  • Private septic system sludge rad content currently not regulated

  • Some investigation of gamma radiation and radon gas in WTPs/operators not present during regen & backwash/proper ventilation


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