Assessment of petroleum-hydrocarbon contamination in the surficial sediments and ground water at three former underground storage tank locations, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, 1995

Open-File Report 96-215




Ground-water and sediment contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons resulting from leaks and overfills was detected during tank removal activities at three former underground storage tank locations at Fort Jackson, near Columbia, South Carolina. Investigations were initiated to assess the effect of contamination to the surficial aquifer at Sites 1062, 2438, and 2444. These investigations involved the installation of permanent monitoring wells and the collection and analysis of sediment and ground-water samples at the three sites. Water-level data were collected at all sites to determine hydraulic gradients and the direction of ground-water flow. In addition, aquifer tests were made at Site 1062 to determine the hydraulic conductivity of the surficial aquifer at that site. Sediment borings were made at the three sites to collect subsurface-sediment samples for lithologic description and laboratory analyses, and for the installation of ground-water monitoring wells. Laboratory analyses of sediment samples collected from boreholes at Site 1062 indicated elevated concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons at three locations. Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons - Diesel Range Organics were detected at one borehole at a concentration of 388,000 micrograms per kilogram. Total benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene concentrations in sediment from the site ranged from less than 350 to over 100,000 micrograms per kilogram. Total lead was detected at concentrations ranging from 2,900 to 5,900 micrograms per kilogram. Petroleum hydrocarbons were detected at Site 2438 in one borehole at a trace concentration of 112 micrograms per kilogram of para- and meta-xylenes. No concentrations exceeding the detection limits were reported for petroleum hydrocarbons in sediment samples collected from Site 2444; however, total lead was detected in sediment samples from two boreholes, each at concentrations of 600 micrograms per kilogram. Ground-water samples were collected from each site for laboratory analysis and field-property determinations. Petroleum hydrocarbons and lead were detected at concentrations exceeding regulatory limits for drinking water in ground water from Site 1062 only. Petroleum hydrocarbons were detected in ground water from three wells at Site 1062, with the highest concentrations occurring in the area of the former underground storage tanks. Benzene was detected at concentrations as much as 28 micrograms per liter; toluene as much as 558 micrograms per liter; para- and meta-xylenes as much as 993 micrograms per liter; and naphthalene as much as 236 micrograms per liter. Ethylbenzene and ortho-xylene were detected in one well at concentrations of 70 and 6 micrograms per liter, respectively. Dissolved lead was detected in ground water from four wells at concentrations from 5 to 152 micrograms per liter. Analysis of ground-water samples collected from Sites 2438 and 2444 showed little evidence of petroleum-hydrocarbon contamination. Petroleum hydrocarbons were not detected in any of the ground-water samples collected from Site 2438. With the exception of a low concentration of naphthalene (11 micrograms per liter) detected in ground water from one well, petroleum hydrocarbons and lead were not detected in ground water collected from Site 2444.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Assessment of petroleum-hydrocarbon contamination in the surficial sediments and ground water at three former underground storage tank locations, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, 1995
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Branch of Information Services [distributor],
Contributing office(s):
South Atlantic Water Science Center
vi, 73 p. :ill. ;28 cm.
United States
South Carolina
Richland County
Fort Jackson
Other Geospatial:
Lake Katherine, Wood Lake