Case Studies


Non-Intrusive Site Investigation (UXO, CWM concerns)


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From the late 1930s through the 1950s, sealed-glass vials containing mustard gas and other chemical warfare agents (CWAs) were buried in trenches at designated military installations after being denaturalized with Trichloroethene (TCE) and other chlorinated solvents. BEACON offers a sensitive and reliable method to safely characterize these types of sites for VOCs and SVOCs, including the actual CWAs.


On this military installation in the southwest United States, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needed to identify source areas and delineate the lateral extent of TCE contamination that had impacted a local major aquifer. The Corps needed to sample a suspected disposal area within the installation without disturbing the subsurface (i.e, no soil sampling, digging, or breaking the ground surface in any way). BEACON was brought onto the project to design the sampling plan, develop the site safety and health plan for the PSG Survey, and to use the Company's completely non-intrusive Surface-Placed Flux Chamber method to safely characterize the site.


Taking  a Sample

BEACON personnel used global positioning system (GPS) equipment to map out site locations. The soil-gas data clearly identified source areas of Trichloroethene (TCE) as well as other compounds of concern. The results showed the location of chlorinated contamination, which correlated well with data from a geophysical survey.

While the flux chambers were in the field, more than nine inches of rain fell in less than nine days. BEACON's success in these water-saturated conditions demonstrates the sensitivity and accuracy of BEACON's method even in adverse conditions. In addition, all of the samples were collected without impacting the local soils, thereby minimizing the risk of detonating any UXO or compromising CWM containers. BEACON field personnel carried out the fieldwork with no accidents, injuries, illnesses or near miss incidents.