Previous investigations indicate that concentrations of chlorinated volatile organic compounds are substantial in groundwater beneath the 9-acre former landfill at Operable Unit 1, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Keyport, Washington. Phytoremediation combined with ongoing natural attenuation processes was the preferred remedy selected by the U.S. Navy, as specified in the Record of Decision for the site. The U.S. Navy planted two hybrid poplar plantations on the landfill in spring 1999 to remove and to control the migration of chlorinated volatile organic compounds in shallow groundwater. The U.S. Geological Survey has continued to monitor groundwater geochemistry to ensure that conditions remain favorable for contaminant biodegradation as specified in the Record of Decision. This report presents groundwater geochemical and selected volatile organic compound data collected at Operable Unit 1 by the U.S. Geological Survey during June 20-22, 2011, in support of long-term monitoring for natural attenuation. In 2011, groundwater samples were collected from 13 wells and 9 piezometers. Samples from all wells and piezometers were analyzed for redox sensitive constituents and dissolved gases, and samples from 5 of 13 wells and all piezometers also were analyzed for chlorinated volatile organic compounds. Concentrations of redox sensitive constituents measured in 2011 were consistent with previous years, with dissolved oxygen concentrations all at 0.4 milligram per liter or less; little to no detectable nitrate; abundant dissolved manganese, iron, and methane; and commonly detected sulfide. The reductive declorination byproducts - methane, ethane, and ethene - were either not detected in samples collected from the upgradient wells in the landfill and the upper aquifer beneath the northern phytoremediation plantation or were detected at concentrations less than those measured in 2010. Chlorinated volatile organic compound concentrations in 2011 at most piezometers were similar to or slightly less than chlorinated volatile organic compound concentrations measured in previous years. For the upper aquifer beneath the southern phytoremediation plantation, chlorinated volatile organic compound concentrations in 2011 in groundwater from the piezometers were extremely high and continued to vary considerably over space and between years. At piezometer P1-9, the total chlorinated volatile organic compound concentrations increased from 9,500 micrograms per liter in 2010 to more than 44,000 micrograms per liter in 2011. Total chlorinated volatile organic compound concentrations decreased at piezometers P1-6, P1-7, and P1-10 compared to the concentrations measured in 2010. One or both of the reductive dechlorination byproducts ethane and ethene were detected at all piezometers and three of the four wells in the southern plantation. For the intermediate aquifer, concentrations of redox sensitive constituents and chlorinated volatile organic compounds in 2011 were consistent with concentrations measured in previous years, with the exception of notable decreases in sulfate and chloride concentrations at well MW1-28. Concentrations of the reductive dechlorination byproducts ethane and ethene decreased at wells MW1-25 and MW1-28 compared to previously measured concentrations.
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USGS Numbered Series
Groundwater geochemical and selected volatile organic compound data, Operable Unit 1, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Keyport, Washington, June 2011