A joint study by the Dover National Test Site and the U.S. Geological Survey was conducted from June 27 through July 18, 2001 to determine the spatial distribution of the gasoline oxygenate additive methyl tert-butyl ether and selected water-quality constituents in the surficial aquifer underlying the Dover National Test Site at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The study was conducted to support a planned enhanced bio-remediation demonstration and to assist the Dover National Test Site in identifying possible locations for future methyl tert-butyl ether remediation demonstrations.
This report presents the analytical results from ground-water samples collected during the direct-push ground-water sampling study. A direct-push drill rig was used to quickly collect 115 ground-water samples over a large area at varying depths. The ground-water samples and associated quality-control samples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds and methyl tert-butyl ether by the Dover National Test Site analytical laboratory.
Volatile organic compounds were above the method reporting limits in 59 of the 115 ground-water samples. The concentrations ranged from below detection limits to maximum values of 12.4 micrograms per liter of cis-1,2-dichloroethene, 1.14 micrograms per liter of trichloroethene, 2.65 micrograms per liter of tetrachloroethene, 1,070 micrograms per liter of methyl tert-butyl ether, 4.36 micrograms per liter of benzene, and 1.8 micrograms per liter of toluene. Vinyl chloride, ethylbenzene, p,m-xylene, and o-xylene were not detected in any of the samples collected during this investigation. Methyl tert-butyl ether was detected in 47 of the 115 ground-water samples. The highest methyl tert-butyl ether concentrations were found in the surficial aquifer from -4.6 to 6.4 feet mean sea level, however, methyl tert-butyl ether was detected as deep as -9.5 feet mean sea level. Increased methane concentrations and decreased dissolved oxygen concentrations were found in samples that contained methyl tert-butyl ether.