Radiological Monitoring of Surface Water

ESOP conducts radiological monitoring of streams and creeks on the SRS property and in the Savannah River. Our purpose is to determine concentrations and migration of radionuclides, detect and verify accidental releases, and verify any associated impacts.

We collect routine samples from established surface water locations (Surface Water Monitoring locations) and analyze them on the same day they are collected. We collect additional samples from each location to produce a monthly composite, and we send the samples for gross alpha, gross beta and gamma-emitting radionuclide analysis. We use this data to provide yearly values and show long-term trends.

We collect "grab samples" and "composite samples" from surface waters every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at locations that are part of the existing surface water monitoring network. For composites, we program automatic samplers to collect stream water every 30 minutes or every hour. If any samples exceed tritium trigger levels, we give advance notice to downstream drinking water suppliers that use Savannah River water.

We program our automatic samplers to collect additional supplemental samples every two hours from established strategic SRS stream locations throughout the week. We collect these composite samples on Tuesdays and analyze them within one day. The supplementary analyses enhance the effectiveness of our monitoring of potential impacts to the river.