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Effluent migration from septic tank systems in two different lithologies, Broward County, Florida

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4075

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Abstract

Two septic tank test sites, one in sand and one in limestone, in Broward County, Florida, were analyzed for effluent migration. Groundwater from shallow wells, both in background areas and hydraulically down-gradient of the septic tank system, was sampled during a 16-month period from April 1983 through August 1984. Water quality indicators were used to determine the effluent affected zone near the septic tank systems. Specific conductance levels and concentrations of chloride, sulfate, ammonium, and nitrate indicated effluent movement primarily in a vertical direction with abrupt dilution as it moved down-gradient. Effluent was detected in the sand to a depth more than 20 ft below the septic tank outlet, but was diluted to near background conditions 50 ft down-gradient from the tank. Effluent in the limestone was detected in all three observation wells to depths exceeding 25 ft below the septic tank outlet and was diluted, but still detectable, 40 ft down-gradient. The primary controls on effluent movement from septic tank systems in Broward County are the lithology and layering of the geologic materials, hydraulic gradients, and the volume and type of use the system receives. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effluent migration from septic tank systems in two different lithologies, Broward County, Florida
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
87-4075
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1987
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 22 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.