“Where Science and Engineering Meet Construction”: Elite’s Significant Involvement on Hanford’s Wastewater Retention Basin 41 Project


Since the inception of Elite’s Mentor-Protégé partnership with Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) in 2018, the company has executed numerous construction projects and secured significant contracts in support of hazardous waste clean-up efforts – the latest scope of work is the construction of a new wastewater retention basin, known as Basin 41, at the Liquid Effluent Retention Facility (LERF) on the Hanford Site.

Given the significant scope of work, there has been an abundant amount of press around this project.  According to an article on internal WRPS newsletter, “Elite Construction + Development crews are making progress on Basin 41 at LERF.” The article continues, “The installation of the geotextile layer on the Basin 41 subgrade is underway, while liner anchor bolts are being placed around the perimeter. Work also continues to tie-in the transfer lines from the 242-A Evaporator and the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. Currently LERF’s three basins store wastewater generated by 242-A Evaporator campaigns and other Hanford remediation activities until the wastewater can be pumped to the Effluent Treatment Facility (ETF) for processing. Building a new basin is one of many significant upgrades at ETF to support the Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) program to treat tank waste.”

Another recent article highlights the soil-bentonite mixture utilized in this project that hails from Wyoming. It requires a machine called a pugmill to compact the dirt, volcanic ash clay, and water blend to meet exact requirements. Bulldozers and other industry-specific heavy equipment are also used to spread the soil-bentonite layer in defined depths and to test for permeability by the inch. “This is where science and engineering meet construction,” said Aryn Kerr, Senior Project Manager at Elite. “These skilled workers and big machines can work this soil mixture to the exact inch. It’s pretty amazing.”

Elite continues to execute and complete complex, high-risk construction work scopes and does so with a successful team of accomplished Hanford professionals and a senior management staff with over 75+ years of combined experience. 

Update: Since the release of WRPS’ Solution Newsletter in early May, the geotextile layer and liner anchor bolts have been completed. The soil-bentonite mixture installation is underway.


Elite Construction + Development is a full-service general contractor based in the Pacific Northwest. We offer comprehensive government, commercial, and luxury residential construction support and services. Our motto, “Work Hard + Stay Humble”, is our long-standing commitment to provide unparalleled client service and to do so with honesty, integrity, innovation, and a resolve to make the end-product next level. Welcome to an Elite way of doing business.