Commissioned in 1943, the former military site in Sanak, Alaska, was once a strategic defense position during World War II, which included a radio range, radio and radar beacon, and a weather observation station. After years of abandonment, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Alaska District, with project manager Beth Astley and lead engineer Neil Folcik, hired Bristol Environmental Remediation Services, LLC, as prime contractor to clean up the site.
To screen the site for heating oil and diesel fuel that may have been released into the soil, Bristol contracted GeoTek Alaska, specifying for the site to be screened with a UVOST. To get to Sanak, the crew flew into Cold Bay, Alaska, and then took a five-hour boat ride to the island.
From May 13-22, Dakota Technologies’ senior field geologist Steve Adamek joined the GeoTek crew to provide on-site support to supplement the training GeoTek received at Dakota. “Steve helped out tremendously,” said Scott Vojta, vice president of GeoTek. “The training was awesome. I try to talk my clients into taking the training, too, so they can fully understand the value of the data.”
GeoTek's work on the site lasted three weeks and by the end of the project, GeoTek had logged approximately 300 holes for the presence of NAPL, ranging from 15 to 25 feet deep. “We got great data for our report,” said Vojta.
Despite the abrasive volcanic ash, sand, gravel and cobbles that made up the island’s soils, the new, large-diameter UVOST SPOCs withstood the conditions without issue. Only the sapphire window needed to be replaced occasionally. “The equipment worked flawlessly,” said Vojta. “Nothing broke, and we didn’t need to ship any parts to the island.”
Going forward, GeoTek is excited about using the UVOST on future projects. In fact, the company already has jobsites lined up in Dillingham and King Salmon, Alaska. For one of those projects, Vojta convinced the client to utilize UVOST, rather than blind sampling. “It’s a very inexpensive tool to mobilize,” he said. “And I think it’s going to pick up momentum."