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Site Issues

RIFRC SiteThe site was expected to naturally flush its uranium contamination within 100 years during which time institutional control must be maintained.  While the Old Rifle Site is still expected to meet this goal, the rate of uranium loss from groundwater is lower than expected.  Further, the role of microbial processes and the range of processes responsible for uranium removal are not well understood, limiting our ability to predict long-term fate and transport of uranium in such systems.  Behavior of the uranium plume at the site over the last several years suggests that a remaining source of uranium in the vadose zone source may be important in maintaining plume concentrations.


The site has an unconfined alluvial aquifer  The surface of the aquifer (i.e., the water table) lies approximately 3.5m below the ground surface.  Groundwater flows through the aquifer in an arc with recharge up gradient from surrounding highlands or the Colorado River.  The aquifer is heterogeneous but typical hydraulic conductivities are 7.5 m/day (geometric mean of 16 recent measurements).

Previous Scientific Experiments

Rifle Colorado Site Map and Directions

Driving Directions:

Start: Grand Junction, CO airport.  Take Horizon drive to I-70.

  1. Turn left onto I-70.
  2. Take I-70 E toward DENVER.    53.7 miles.
  3. Take the CO-13 N exit- EXIT 90- toward RIFLE / MEEKER.    0.2 miles
  4. Turn LEFT onto CO-13 / TAUGHENBAUGH BLVD.  Continue to follow CO-13.  0.4 miles to US-6, Turn right onto US-6.
  5. Travel east on US-6 for ~03 miles.  Turn into site on the right.
  6. Make a sharp right when approaching the Rifle City facility and drive 0.1 miles to the site.

Site Map - location