Mike Stermitz serves as a construction manager for the US office of Arcadis, for which he has conducted environmental inspections for projects in Nevada, Illinois, New Mexico, and Texas. Projects handled by Mike Stermitz’s company include cleanup measures for the complex soil and groundwater contamination at the Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas.
The Air Force traditionally used the Reese Air Force Base for pilot training, making it a major asset in the nation’s defense and security. However, contamination of the soil and groundwater risked the purity of primary drinking sources. The site’s designation for redevelopment pushed the Air Force to address the contamination, which led to remediation by Arcadis’ technicians.
Arcadis conducted an investigation and discovered a plume of trichloroethene that extended for nearly three miles through the Ogallala Aquifer, from which the region draws most of its drinking water. Interventions included the remodeling of existing pumps, treatment systems, and the design of a new remediation strategy using in situ enhanced reductive chlorination technology. The innovative technology decreased trichloroethene plume contaminations by 98 percent and saved the Air Force $22 million by reducing the estimated cleanup time from more than 30 years to fewer than 10.