Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Around the Sound: Wyckoff ideas shaping up ...

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

The breakout groups are wrapping up their presentations for possible cleanup work on Bainbridge Island’s Wyckoff site. The photo shows Group 1 leader Mike Basel (center, standing) listening to questions after his presentation.

Remember, this is the site of a former wood-processing facility right on the edge of Puget Sound. Roughly 1 million gallons of creosote-type materials are present in the soil and groundwater.

The ideas will be refined a bit more and featured during a community meeting from 7 to 9 tonight at IslandWood. (See previous blog posts for meeting details.)

Here’s a quick rundown on the groups’ ideas – more details will be available at tonight’s meeting.


+ Treat the entire Wyckoff site using heat (combination of electrical heating and steam injection).

+ Install an estimated 750 thermal wells, 300 steam injection wells, 150 vapor extraction wells, and 40 multi-phase extraction wells.

+ Pros: Cleans up surface soils, eliminates the need to pump and treat water, controls leaching of contaminated water, flexible.

+ Cons: This method would take a lot of power – up to 8 megawatts if you wanted to clean up the site in 2 years. The power need would be less if you did the work over a longer time period. “Where’s the energy going to come from?” group leader Mike Basel asked rhetorically.


+ Excavate 90+ percent of contaminated soils.

+ Treat the soils on site, and replace them after they’re considered “cleaned up.”

+ Install a new south barrier wall, and upgrade existing containment features.

+ Pros: Removes most contaminated soil. Costs could be lowered depending on how much soil is dug up and treated, and other factors.

+ Cons: Some contaminated liquids would leach out. The questions are what’s in the liquid and how do you address that?


+ Use a combination of soil removal, heat treatment of soils, improve walls, capping at the site, and pumping and treating water.

+ Pros: Uses a variety of approaches.

+ Cons: Only about half of the contaminated soil would be treated.

Follow the discussions at

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