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Effects of septic tank effluent on ground-water quality, Dade County, Florida: an interim report

Open-File Report 74-1087

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Abstract

At each of five sites in Dade County, where individual (residence) septic tanks have been in operation for at least 15 years and where septic tank concentration is less than 5 per acre, a drainfield site was selected for investigation to determine the effects of septic tank effluent on the quality of the water in the Biscayne Aquifer.

At each site two sets of multiple depth wells were drilled. The upgradient wells adjacent to the drainfields in most places, were constructed in such a way that the aquifer could be sampled at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 60 feet below land surface. The down-gradient wells at each site are 35 feet or more from the up-gradient wells in the direction of ground-water flow, and allow. the aquifer to be sampled at various depths.

Except at one site, no fecal coliforms were found below the 10-foot depth. Total coliforms exceeded a count of one colony per ml at the 60- foot depth at two sites. At one site a fecal streptococci count of 53 colonies per ml was found at the 60-foot depth and at another a count of seven colonies was found at the 40-foot depth. The three types of bacteria occur in higher concentration in the northern areas of the county than in the south. Bacteria concentrations were also higher where the septic tanks were more concentrated. 

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effects of septic tank effluent on ground-water quality, Dade County, Florida: an interim report
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
74-1087
Year Published:
1974
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
58 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Florida
County:
Dade County
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N