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Ground-water flow and quality beneath sewage-sludge lagoons, and a comparison with the ground-water quality beneath a sludge-amended landfill, Marion County, Indiana

Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4175

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Abstract

The groundwater beneath eight sewage sludge lagoons, was studied to characterize the flow regime and to determine whether leachate had infiltrated into the glacio-fluvial sediments. Groundwater quality beneath the lagoons was compared with the groundwater quality beneath a landfill where sludge had been applied. The lagoons and landfills overlie outwash sand and gravel deposits separated by discontinuous clay layers. Shallow groundwater flows away from the lagoons and discharges into the White River. Deep groundwater discharges to the White River and flows southwest beneath Eagle Creek. After an accumulation of at least 2 inches of precipitation during 1 week, groundwater flow is temporarily reversed in the shallow aquifer, and all deep flow is along a relatively steep hydraulic gradient to the southwest. The groundwater is predominantly a calcium bicarbonate type, although ammonium accounts for more than 30% of the total cations in water from three wells. Concentrations of sodium, chloride, sulfate, iron, arsenic, boron, chemical oxygen demand, total dissolved solids, and methylene-blue-active substances indicate the presence of leachate in the groundwater. Concentrations of cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, and zinc were less than detection limits. The concentrations of 16 of 19 constituents or properties of groundwater beneath the lagoons are statistically different than groundwater beneath the landfill at the 0.05 level of significance. Only pH and concentrations of dissolved oxygen and bromide are higher in groundwater beneath the landfill than beneath the lagoons. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Ground-water flow and quality beneath sewage-sludge lagoons, and a comparison with the ground-water quality beneath a sludge-amended landfill, Marion County, Indiana
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
88-4175
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1988
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 74 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.