Day Loma Area Reclamation & Construction

Day Loma Area Reclamation & Construction
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
Gas Hills, Wyoming

Wenck was retained by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program to prepare preliminary reclamation designs for over 1,000 acres of abandoned uranium mine disturbance in Fremont County, Wyoming. Wenck was responsible for determining surface ownership, determining the eligibility of disturbances for AML funding, obtaining consents and clearances for investigation, sampling area spoils, developing a hydrologic restoration plan which would preserve existing and create additional wetlands, evaluating the existing and modeling the post-reclamation ground water potentiometric surface, predicting post-reclamation ground water quality, developing geomorphic guidelines for final reclamation, as well as developing reclamation options and cost-savings alternatives. 

Initial disturbance in the project area began in 1961 and continued intermittently through 1983. Disturbance included buried radioactive heap leach material, large surface spoil piles, barium chloride treatment ponds, and four open mine pits. The largest of these pits was 35 acres in surface area, with highwalls averaging 350 feet.

The Wenck sampling plan encompassed over 6,000 feet of drilling and sampling and over 70 test pits. Wenck also completed a surface gamma survey over 400 acres. Sample analyses included major metals and radionuclides.

Wenck prepared a master ground water and hydrogeological study and completed a detailed geochemical study utilizing the computer models WATEQF and PHREEQE. A selective handling plan isolating unsuitable material above the predicted post-reclamation final ground water table and eliminating the surface radiation hazards was integrated into the final design.

Wenck was also responsible for the design and daily construction management. The reclamation of the Day Loma and Clyde pits required the movement of over 10 million cubic yards of material and managing 1 billion gallons of water. Total reclamation costs were $1.5M for design and $13M for construction.

Major Project Features: 

  • Conceptual Reclamation Design for over 1,000 Acres of Abandoned Uranium Mine Disturbance
  • Final Engineering Designs to Reclaim 400 Acres of Disturbance
  • Hydrogeological and Geochemical Studies
  • Hydrologic Modeling
  • Preparation of Selective Handling Plans
  • Suitable and Unsuitable Material Field Investigations
  • Development of Hydrologic Restoration Plan
  • Construction Management

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