Alameda Point Environmental Report: Navy Studies Radium-contaminated Drain Lines at Alameda Point, October 4, 2011


Up until passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, it was common practice to dispose of chemicals by dumping them down sewer and storm drain lines that drained into the nearest surface water. Many people did this in their homes.

At Alameda’s former Naval Air Station the worst legacy of this practice was in the drain lines leading out of the massive Building 5 and nearby Building 400. Building 5 is where the radioactive paint with radium-226 was used to paint aircraft dials and markers.

2009/2010 Drain Removal Action - In 2010, the Navy completed the removal and replacement
of thousands of feet of the most seriously contaminated lines leading to the Seaplane Lagoon. But questions remained for Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) members about drain lines leading north to the Oakland Estuary and also the Industrial Waste Line that was installed after passage of the Clean Water Act.