The discharge of effluents containing creosote and pentachlorophenol into two unlined surface impoundments at a wood-treatment facility in Pensacola, Florida, resulted in contamination of the underlying sand and gravel aquifer. These wastes contained significant amounts of chlorinated dioxins, such as isomers of hexa- and heptachlorodibenzo-p-dioxins and octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, probably derived from commercial pentachlorophenol. Geochemical investigations of pond sludge, groundwater and porous media from the unsaturated and saturated zones indicated that these geologic materials were contaminated by chlorinated dioxins. The fate and movement of these compounds in the subsurface environment were studied using the technique of GC-MS-MS. Chlorinated dioxins migrated both vertically and horizontally in the subsurface and were present at considerable distances from the source of contamination. Concentrations of chlorinated dioxins in groundwater were several orders of magnitude lower than in porous media from the unsaturated and saturated zones. Ratios of the various isomers remained relatively constant in highly contaminated areas. However, in less contaminated areas, isomer ratios changed dramatically; at certain locations, one hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin isomer predominated. The environmental significance of these compounds is discussed. ?? 1985.
Additional publication details
Geochemical investigations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins in the subsurface environment at an abandoned wood-treatment facility