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Phenolic contamination in the sand-and-gravel aquifer from a surface impoundment of wood treatment wastes, Pensacola, Florida

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4230

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Abstract

Creosote and pentachlorophenol wastewaters discharged to unlined surface impoundments have resulted in groundwater contamination in the vicinity of an industrial site near Pensacola, Florida. Total phenol concentrations of 36,000 microgm/liter have been detected 40 ft below land surface in a test hole 100 ft south of an overflow impoundment but less than 10 microgm/liter 90 ft below land surface. Samples collected in test holes 1,350 ft downgradient from the surface impoundments and 100 ft north of Pensacola Bay, above and immediately below a clay lens, indicate that phenol contaminated groundwater may not be discharging directly into Pensacola Bay. Phenol concentrations exceeding 20 microgm/liter were detected in samples from a drainage ditch discharging directly into Bayou Chico. Microbiological data collected near the test site suggest that an anaerobic methanogenic ecosystem contributes to a reduction in phenol concentrations in groundwater. A laboratory study using bacteria isolated from the study site indicates that phenol, 2-methylphenol, and 3-methylphenol are significantly degraded and that methanogenesis reduces total phenol concentrations in laboratory digestors by 45%. Pentachlorophenol may inhibit methanogenesis at concentrations exceeding 0.45 milligm/liter. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Phenolic contamination in the sand-and-gravel aquifer from a surface impoundment of wood treatment wastes, Pensacola, Florida
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
84-4230
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1984
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 36 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.