Alameda Sun: Next Steps in Navy Cleanup, January 3, 2013


Cleanup activity at Alameda Point in 2012 started where it left off in 2011 — at the Seaplane Lagoon. The lagoon's northwest corner was the site of the second and final phase of dredging there and targeted contaminated sediment near storm drain outfalls. With dredging completed by spring, the sight of Americas Cup racing yachts arriving at their temporary dock in the lagoon seemed a harbinger of the approaching end of the Superfund era at the Point.

Just outside the Seaplane Lagoon, another dredging operation was started and finished at one of the maritime ship piers where the Cape Orlando had been docked. By November, the massive ship was back at dockside, hull lights glowing at night.

In one of the most complicated and contaminated areas east of the Seaplane Lagoon, cleanup work began at an area 30 feet below ground where a cleaning solvent used on aircraft parts had seeped into the groundwater. After driving a series of metal bars down to the contaminated area, the soil, groundwater, and solvent were heated to just below simmering by means of electricity. This turned the water and solvent into vapor, which was then vacuumed out into a filtering system through a series of pipes.