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K-State Today Student Edition

November 26, 2012

Cleanup complete at university's former chemical waste landfill

Submitted by Kelly Greene

A corner of the Kansas State University Manhattan campus is a little cleaner as the university has completed remediation of its old chemical waste landfill north of Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

All chemicals and radioactive materials were removed from the landfill during the cleanup effort that began earlier this year. The majority of the contaminated soil and chemical debris was shipped to Clive, Utah, for disposal.

The site was used to bury low-level radioactive materials and unwanted chemicals from 1960 through the 1980s.

Currently, the area around the landfill has 31 monitoring wells for the groundwater. Water in these wells is tested semiannually for contamination. Because the source of the groundwater contamination has been removed, contamination is expected to rapidly decline in the groundwater.

These wells will remain in place and monitoring will continue until contaminants in these wells are below Kansas Department of Health and Environment risk levels. Much of the contaminated groundwater is being captured and decontaminated by a groundwater treatment system that was installed in April 2011. The university intends to install seven more monitoring wells north and northeast of the site to delineate the extent of the contamination.  All of the contaminated groundwater is on Kansas State University property and is not being used for drinking water.