Surface Water and Sediment

Surface Water and Sediment (Background)

The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) occupies portions of the Little Bayou and Bayou Creek watersheds in western McCracken County, Kentucky. The PGDP industrial site occupies 740 acres approximately 4 miles south of the Ohio River. Extensive infrastructure within the PGDP industrial site drains west to Bayou Creek or east and north to Little Bayou Creek. 

Site infrastructure related to surface water and sediment includes:

  • surface water ditches
  • roof drainage from process buildings
  • ditches for surface drainage management
  • water treatment impoundments
  • storage lagoons
  • industrial and sanitary sewer systems
  • potable water systems
  • fire suppression systems
  • recirculating cooling water systems

Historical waste disposal activities, site upgrades, site maintenance, purposeful and accidental process releases have resulted in contaminated soil and sediment within the PGDP industrial area. Over 60 years of plant operations have resulted in legacy impacts to surface water and sediment via runoff, leaching, and leakage. Impacts include transport and deposition of metal, organic, and radionuclide constituents in surface water, sediment and adjacent soils.