Work has started on a $7.8 million project to improve the water system in central Hanford as environmental cleanup there is expected to continue for decades.
“With about 9,000 workers — many near the center of the site — where this project takes place, ensuring the dependability of the water system is key,” said Jeff Frey, a Department of Energy assistant manager.
DOE contractor Mission Support Alliance is installing a new pipeline that will connect the separate water grids of the east and west areas of central Hanford.
Work to install about four miles of 30-inch pipe is expected to be completed next spring.
When construction is completed, disturbed ground will be replanted with native grasses and shrubs and wild bee habitats will be installed to encourage pollination of the revegetated areas.
Upgrades in addition to the new pipeline will include installation of a backup water supply line to the central Hanford groundwater treatment facility.
Nearly 400 million gallons of water are used each year at the Hanford nuclear reservation, including for operations, construction, waste processing and fire protection.