The Norman Landfill was selected for study as part of the U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program in 1994. The landfill is located south of the City of Norman on alluvial deposits of the Canadian River. Type of waste deposited in the landfill from 1922 to 1973 was largely unrestricted and may include substances now recognized as hazardous. Dissolved and suspended substances leached from wastes in the closed and capped landfill are now in ground water extending toward the Canadian River as a plume of leachate.
Water samples were collected from two stock wells, one domestic well, temporary drive-point wells, the Canadian River, and a small intermittent stream hydraulically downgradient of the capped landfill known as the slough. Most constituent concentrations were greater in ground water downgradient from the capped landfill than in background ground water and were greater in the slough than in the Canadian River. Concentrations of most constituents in the Canadian River, other than sulfate, manganese, and iron, were similar to concentrations in background ground water.
Some constituents measured in ground-water for this investigation are potential indicators of leachate contamination. Potential indicators that could be used to differentiate leachate contaminated water from uncontaminated ground water of the alluvial aquifer include specific conductance, chloride, alkalinity, dissolved organic carbon, boron, and dD. Specific conductance and chloride were greater in water from wells downgradient of the landfill than water from background wells. Dissolved organic carbon and boron also were greater in the leachate contaminated ground water than in background ground water.