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U.S. Geological Survey program on toxic waste--ground-water contamination; proceedings of the Third technical meeting, Pensacola, Florida, March 23-27, 1987

Open-File Report 87-109

Edited by:
Bernard J. Franks

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Abstract

Problems of ground-water contamination from leaking surface impoundments are common in surficial aquifers, and are a subject of increasing concern and attention. A potentially widespread contamination problem involves organic chemicals used in wood-preserving processes. Creosote is the most extensively used industrial preservative in the United States today, with more than 400 wood-preserving plants in the United States collectively using 4.5x109 kg (kilograms) of creosote per year (von Rumker and others, 1975). It is estimated that creosote contains more than 200 major individual compounds with differing molecular weights, polarities, and functionalities, along with dispersed solids and products of polymerization (Novotny and others, 1981). Analyses of creosote consist of approximately 85 percent by weight polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, 12 percent phenolic compounds, and 3 percent heterocyclic compounds containing nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen.

Because of the widespread distribution of creosote in the environment, an abandoned wood-treatment plant in Pensacola, Fla., was selected by the U.S. Geological Survey Office of Hazardous Waste Hydrology as one of three national research demonstration areas in order to increase our understanding of hydrologic processes affecting the distributions of contaminants in ground water. The site was selected because of its long, uninterrupted history (1902 81) of discharging wastewaters to unlined surface impoundments, availability of a preliminary data base (Troutman and others, 1984), and the high probability of useful technology transfer from an investigation of the fate of organic compounds associated with wood-preserving wastewaters in the subsurface environment.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
U.S. Geological Survey program on toxic waste--ground-water contamination; proceedings of the Third technical meeting, Pensacola, Florida, March 23-27, 1987
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
87-109
Year Published:
1987
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Tallahassee, FL
Contributing office(s):
Minnesota Water Science Center
Description:
1 v. 213 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N