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Direction of ground-water flow and ground-water quality near a landfill in Falmouth, Massachusetts

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4188

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Abstract

A landfill in Falmouth, Massachusetts, is upgradient of a pond used for municipal water supply, but analysis of groundwater flow directions and groundwater quality indicates that leachate from the landfill does not threaten the municipal water supply. A network of water table observation wells was established, and water table altitudes were measured in these wells on several dates in 1981. Water quality analyses and specific conductance measurements were made on water samples from several wells in the vicinity of the landfill between October 1980 and April 1983. A water table altitude contour map of the area between the landfill and Long Pond for April 16-17, 1981, indicates that the direction of groundwater flow is primarily southwest from the landfill to Buzzards Bay. A similar map for September 2, 1981--a time at which the water table was unusually low--indicates the possibility of groundwater discharge to Long Pond from the landfill site. Groundwater quality beneath the landfill exceeded U.S. EPA water quality criteria for domestic water supply for manganese and total dissolved solids. Concentrations as high as 52 mg/L of nitrogen as ammonia and 4,500 micrograms/L (ug/L) of manganese were found. Concentrations of ammonia, manganese, calcium, potassium, and alkalinity exceeded local background levels by more than a factor of 100; specific-conductance levels and concentrations of hardness, barium, chloride, sodium, magnesium, iron, and strontium exceeded local background levels by more than a factor of 10; and cadmium concentrations exceeded local background levels by more than a factor of 5. Water quality analyses and field specific conductance measurements indicate the presence of a volume of leachate extending south-southwest from the landfill. Average chloride concentrations of landfill leachate, precipitation on the surface of Long Pond, and recharge from the remainder of the recharge area were 180, 3, and 9 mg/L, respectively. No significant degradation of the quality of water in Long Pond is expected as a result of leachate from this landfill. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Direction of ground-water flow and ground-water quality near a landfill in Falmouth, Massachusetts
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4188
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1986
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 24 p. :ill., maps (some col.) ;28 cm.