An extensive cleanup involving the removal of 5 million pounds of contaminated soil along Lower Three Runs Creek has been completed, according to Savannah River Site officials.
The 20-mile creek flows through the site and crosses portions of Barnwell and Allendale counties before meeting the Savannah River.
A multiyear project financed in part by the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act included cleanup work at three primary sites and the placement of miles of fencing and more than 2,000 signs. Though the stream leaves SRS, government property on both sides serves as a buffer as if flows through private property.
Because low levels of contaminants remain in soils and sediments, fishing or public access to the creek will not be allowed, said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lead project manager Robert Pope.
“However, testing of the water in Lower Three Runs has shown it to be safe, with contaminant levels below EPA standards,” he said.
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the SRS management contractor, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control were also involved in the cleanup programs.