Ground-Water Quality at a Creosote Waste Site

Authors


  • Discussion open until November 1, 1984.

  • Philip B. Bedient graduated with a B.S. in Physics in 1969 and M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville, in 1975. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at Rice University for the past eight years. His research interests are in the areas of surface- and ground-water hydrology and contaminant transport. He is a researcher with the National Center for Ground Water Research.

  • Alan C. Rodgers graduated with a B.A. in Biology and Materials Science in 1980 and has completed his M.S. degree in Environmental Science and Engineering at Rice University. He was a staff research scientist in the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering in 1982–83.

  • Tracy C. Bouvette graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1980 and received the M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering in 1983 at Rice University. He has been employed as staff engineer by Geraghty and Miller, and is presently with Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation in Houston, Texas.

  • Mason B, Tomson graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics in 1967 from Southwestern State College, Weatherford, Oklahoma, and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 1972 from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. He is currently associate professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at Rice University. His research interests primarily concern the identification, transport and fate of trace level organics in the subsurface and in precipitation, scale formation and scale control.

  • T. H. Wang graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics in 1970 from National Taiwan University, and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 1981 from the University of Houston, Houston, Texas. She was a research associate in the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at Rice University, and is currently with Pennzoil Corporation in Houston. Her research interests concern separation and identification of trace level organics from water.

ABSTRACT

An abandoned creosote facility in Conroe, Texas, has become a field site for the National Center for Ground Water Research (NCGWR) at Rice University. Ground-water contamination in the shallow aquifer beneath the site was characterized by sampling soils and water quality at 14 monitoring wells and 35 boreholes.

Results from six sampling trips over two years for inorganic and organic chemical concentrations in the ground water show wells around the site were contaminated to levels above 800 μg/l for naphthalene, 400 μg/1 for methyl naphthalene, and 150 μg/1 for dibenzofuran. Conservative constituents, traced by chloride concentrations up to 75 mg/l, have migrated 300 ft (90 m) downgradient of the site. Organic contaminants have been adsorbed and microbially degraded in their migration from the waste source as evidenced by their attenuated concentrations. Detailed field pump tests have been performed to evaluate hydraulic conductivity at several of the shallow wells. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Solute Transport Model (Konikow and Bredehoeft, 1978) has been used to predict chloride plume patterns and evaluate parameters which govern transport processes at the Conroe waste site.

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