In June 1993, the Department of the Navy, Southern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command (SOUTHDIV), began a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) of the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant (NWIRP) in north-central Texas. The RFI has found trichloroethene, dichloroethene, vinyl chloride, as well as chromium, lead, and other metallic residuum in the shallow alluvial aquifer underlying NWIRP.
These findings and the possibility of on-site or off-site migration of contaminants prompted the need for a ground-water-flow model of the NWIRP area. The resulting U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) model: (1) defines aquifer properties, (2) computes water budgets, (3) delineates major flowpaths, and (4) simulates hydrologic effects of remediation activity. In addition to assisting with particle-tracking analyses, the calibrated model could support solute-transport modeling as well as help evaluate the effects of potential corrective action. The USGS model simulates steady-state and transient conditions of ground-water flow within a single model layer.
The alluvial aquifer is within fluvial terrace deposits of Pleistocene age, which unconformably overlie the relatively impermeable Eagle Ford Shale of Late Cretaceous age. Over small distances and short periods, finer grained parts of the aquifer are separated hydraulically; however, most of the aquifer is connected circuitously through randomly distributed coarser grained sediments. The top of the underlying Eagle Ford Shale, a regional confining unit, is assumed to be the effective lower limit of ground-water circulation and chemical contamination.
The calibrated steady-state model reproduces long-term average water levels within +5.1 or ?3.5 feet of those observed; the standard error of the estimate is 1.07 feet with a mean residual of 0.02 foot. Hydraulic conductivity values range from 0.75 to 7.5 feet per day, and average about 4 feet per day. Specific yield values range from 0.005 to 0.15 and average about 0.08. Simulated infiltration rates range from 0 to 2.5 inches per year, depending mostly on local patterns of ground cover.
Computer simulation indicates that, as of December 31, 1998, remediation systems at NWIRP were removing 7,375 cubic feet of water per day from the alluvial aquifer, with 3,050 cubic feet per day coming from aquifer storage. The resulting drawdown prevented 1,800 cubic feet per day of ground water from discharging into Cottonwood Bay, as well as inducing another 1,325 cubic feet per day into the aquifer from the bay. An additional 1,200 cubic feet of water per day (compared to pre-remediation conditions) was prevented from discharging into the west lagoon, east lagoon, Mountain Creek Lake, and Mountain Creek swale.
Particle-tracking simulations, assuming an aquifer porosity of 0.15, were made to delineate flowpath patterns, or contaminant ?capture zones,? resulting from 2.5- and 5-year periods of remediation activity at NWIRP. The resulting flowlines indicate three such zones, or areas from which ground water is simulated to have been removed during July 1996?December 1998, as well as extended areas from which ground water would be removed during the next 2.5 years (January 1999?June 2001).
Simulation indicates that, as of December 31, 1998, the recovery trench was intercepting about 827 cubic feet per day of ground water that?without the trench?would have discharged into Cottonwood Bay. During this time, the trench is simulated to have removed about 3,221 cubic feet per day of water from the aquifer, with about 934 cubic feet per day (29 percent) coming from the south (Cottonwood Bay) side of the trench.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Computer-model analysis of ground-water flow and simulated effects of contaminant remediation at Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, Dallas, Texas