Preliminary evaluation of ground-water contamination by coal-tar derivatives, St. Louis Park area, Minnesota

Open-File Report 81-72
Prepared in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health
By:  and 



Operation of a coal-tar distillation and wood preserving plant for 1918-72 in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, resulted in ground-water contamination. This report presents the results of the first year (1979) of an ongoing study. By 1932, water in the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer, the region 's major source of ground water, was contaminated 3,500 feet from the plant. The hydraulic characteristics of the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer , its long contamination history, and fluctuating pumpage combine to creat a complex distribution of coal-tar derivatives observed in the aquifer. The Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer underlies the area at depths of 250 to 500 feet and is overlain by two bedrock aquifers (Platteville and St. Peter), two confining beds (Glenwood and basal part of St. Peter), and 70 to 100 feet of glacial drift. Multiaquifer wells in the area have permitted contaminated water from near-surface aquifers to flow downward into the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer. Flow rates of 20 to 150 gallons per minute from the shallower aquifers into the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer were observed in five wells. In the drift, a hydrocarbon fluid phase is moving vertically downward relative to the aqueous phase. Dissolved constituents in the drift and Platteville aquifer, the uppermost bedrock unit over most of the area, have moved at least 4,000 feet. Low-molecular-weight compounds are moving preferentially through the drift and Platteville aquifer system. (USGS)

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Preliminary evaluation of ground-water contamination by coal-tar derivatives, St. Louis Park area, Minnesota
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 81-72
DOI 10.3133/ofr8172
Year Published 1981
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location St. Paul, MN
Contributing office(s) Minnesota Water Science Center
Description 32 Plates: 23.96 x 32.19 inches or smaller
Country United States
State Minnesota
City St. Louis Park
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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