Groundwater quality at and near a landfill southwest of Tallahassee, Florida, where sludge from a municipal sewage-treatment plant was also applied, was assessed by sampling 21 monitoring wells and analyzing for various constituents. Water quality in the Upper Floridan aquifer at the site was compared to the water quality of 20 background wells in Leon County. Water quality in all samples from wells at the site was evaluated in relation to the landfill and sludge-spreading and nonsludge- spreading areas. Results from nonparametric statistical tests showed that potassium and nitrate concentrations were significantly different in samples from the Upper Floridan aquifer at the site and in samples from background wells. Median potassium concentrations were 0.7 mg/L in samples collected at the site and 0.4 mg/L in samples collected from background wells, whereas median nitrate concentration was 6.48 mg/L at the site and 0.51 mg/L in background wells. Graphical comparison of concentration distributions in six categories of wells; upgradient, landfill, adjacent to the landfill, downgradient onsite, downgradient offsite, and from background wells in Leon County, indicated that sodium, bicarbonate, sulfate, iron, manganese, dissolved solids, and specific conductance had highest concentrations in water from wells within the landfill. Nitrate concentrations were lowest in samples from wells in the landfill compared to the other categories. Concentrations of trace metals and organic constituents were mostly below detection limits although State maximum contaminant levels of 1.0 microg/L for benzene and vinyl chloride and 3.0 microg/L for tetrachloroethene were exceeded in water from some wells. Nitrate and chloride concentrations were significantly different in sludge-spreading and nonsludge-spreading areas. Median nitrate and chloride concentrations of 6.9 microg/L and 2.9 microg/L were detected in groundwater in sludge-spreading areas compared to 1.1 mg/L and 1.8 mg/L in nonsludge-spreading areas.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water quality near an inactive landfill and sludge-spreading area, Tallahassee, Florida
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],