Former Refinery Superfund Site

Location: Col-Tex Superfund Site, Colorado City, Texas
Project Value: $48 Million


This Superfund Site was defined by the TCEQ as the “#1 State Superfund Site in Texas”. The site was occupied by a former refinery that operated from 1928 to 1969 on about 175 acres near Colorado City, TX. The refinery was dismantled in the 1970s, with the exception of several aboveground storage tanks. These tanks were believed to be a source of contamination found in the river at that time. For purposes of cleanup, five areas of concern were designated: North Pond Area, Col-Tex 1 which includes the Former Tank Farm, Col-Tex 2, the Former Refinery Area, and the National Foam Cushion Property.


LWR has been providing turnkey remediation services as prime contractor at this superfund site in West Texas over the past 10 years including:

  • Closure of thirty-two surface impoundments
  • Excavation, backfill and restoration of impacted areas
  • Removal and recycling of underground pipelines
  • Stabilization/recycling of impacted soils, sediments and concrete debris
  • Recycling of over 260,000 gallons of asphalt emulsion
  • Construction of a 17-acre containment cell
  • Installation of 9,000 linear feet of product recovery trenches
  • Installation, startup, operation and maintenance of groundwater extraction and air-sparge treatment systems
  • Collection and treatment of stormwater
  • Site restoration

Site features included thirty-two surface impoundments containing approximately 210,000 tons of impoundment waste (asphaltic tar). LWR designed, constructed and operated an emulsion plant to recover and recycle over one-quarter of a million gallons of the impoundment waste into asphalt emulsion.

LWR recycled hydrocarbon (HC)-impacted soils, impoundment waste and concrete debris to produce 450,000 tons of commercially viable, engineered product. This commercial product was designed and tested to meet applicable regulatory environmental analytical requirements and geotechnical engineering specifications required for on-site and off-site civil projects. Recycling was the most cost-effective remedial solution for the impoundment waste and impacted soils. Cost savings on the project were optimized by utilizing the recycled product for purposes including construction of access roads on-site, lining of stormwater control features and capping an on-site containment cell. Thousands of tons of the product were also sold commercially as road base for County and State projects offsetting some of the recycling cost.

During the course of remediation of the site, LWR has excavated over 1,250,000 cubic yards (CYs) of HC and metals impacted soil. These activities included the excavation of approximately 750,000 CYs of impacted material from the former processing area to a depth of over 23 feet below ground surface.

LWR constructed a 17-acre containment cell on the site. To date, the containment cell holds over 900,000 cubic yards of impacted material. As a cost-effective alternative to low-permeability clay, LWR utilized a total of 78,000 CYs of the recycled product as capping material.

Over the course of the project, LWR contained, treated and recycled all stormwater that fell on the site. Stormwater has been utilized for soil conditioning in the recycling process, dust control and irrigation of revegetated areas.

LWR has installed more than 9,000 linear feet of product recovery trenches to depths of 35 feet below ground surface. To date, approximately 70,000 gallons of product have been recovered from these trenches along with over 11 million gallons of impacted water. LWR constructed two HDPE lined 1.2 acre evaporation ponds with a holding capacity of 2.3 million gallons.

LWR has provided installation, operation and maintenance of all remediation and environmental control systems on the site.

Systems currently operated by LWR include:

  • AS/SVE – This system includes 30 AS wells and 30 SVE wells.
  • PSH Separation and Bio-Reactors – fluids collected on the site are treated by separating the HC phases for recycling and polishing separator effluent with Bio-Reactors.
  • PSH and Total Fluid Recovery Trench – This system includes a 400 feet long trench with a central recovery point.
  • PSH and Total Fluid Recovery Barrier Wall – This system includes 6 actively pumping recovery wells.
  • PSH Recovery System – This system consists of 6,000 feet of recovery trench. PSH is recovered and is sent off site for recycling.
  • Groundwater Control Trenches – A total of 5 trenches are located along a bluff edge to control and mitigate groundwater seeps from the bluff face.

LWR has provided value-engineering input in partnership with the clients system engineers through the design, installation and start-up process for each system. Systems have been continuously tweaked and modified through their operation to maximize efficiency in response to evolving site conditions.