An investigation of ground water in Seminole County, Georgia, for ethylene dibromide (EDB) was conducted in August 1983 by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Exposure Assessment Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether EDB, which was previously detected in ground-water samples from four neighboring wells, was localized in the vicinity of the wells or was more widespread in the ground-water system.
EDB was detected in 6 of 19 wells sampled. Concentrations ranged from 0.03 to 11.8 micrograms per liter. Five of the six samples that contained EDB were collected from irrigation wells, and one was collected from a domestic well. Concentrations of 4.5 and 11.8 micrograms per liter were found in two irrigation wells located near Buck Hole, a sinkhole in a swampy depression in central Seminole County. EDB was not detected in samples from the remaining 10 irrigation and 3 domestic wells and the surface-water site (detection level less than 0.01 microgram per liter).
Nine core samples were collected from a borehole near one of the irrigation wells that had high EDB concentrations. EDB was found in a core sample near the surface and in samples from depths of 24 to 25, 34 to 35, and 39 to 40 feet in the residuum. EDB concentrations in the core samples ranged from 0.06 to 2.4 micrograms per kilogram.
EDB in the aquifer was found in a 4-square-mile area of the county in the vicinity of Buck Hole. EDB application information and the local hydrogeology indicate that EDB contamination in ground water in Seminole County probably is due to soil fumigation with EDB. Apparently, EDB moves downward through the residuum and, through undetermined pathways, enters the aquifer. However, because the high concentration of EDB in the aquifer seems to be localized in the Buck Hole area, the possibility of contamination from an EDB fumigant spill cannot be disregarded at this time.
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USGS Numbered Series
Investigation of ethylene dibromide (EDB) in ground water in Seminole County, Georgia