In 1998, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of the Navy, began an investigation to determine background ground-water quality of the water-table zone of the surficial aquifer and soil chemistry at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Camden County, Georgia, and to compare these data to two abandoned solid- waste disposal areas (referred to by the U.S. Navy as Sites 5 and 16). The quality of water in the water-table zone generally is within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) drinking-water regulation. The pH of ground water in the study area ranged from 4.0 to 7.6 standard units, with a median value of 5.4. Water from 29 wells is above the pH range and 3 wells are within the range of the USEPA secondary drinking-water regulation (formerly known as the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level or SMCL) of 6.5 to 8.5 standard units. Also, water from one well at Site 5 had a chloride concentration of 570 milligrams per liter (mg/L,), which is above the USEPA secondary drinking-water regulation of 250 mg/L. Sulfate concentrations in water from two wells at Site 5 are above the USEPA secondary drinking-water regulation of 250 mg/L.
Of 22 soil-sampling locations for this study, 4 locations had concentrations above the detection limit for either volatile organic compounds (VOCs), base-neutral acids (BNAs), or pesticides. VOCs detected in the study area include toluene in one background sample; and acetone in one background sample and one sample from Site 16--however, detection of these two compounds may be a laboratory artifact. Pesticides detected in soil at the Submarine Base include two degradates of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT): 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (4,4'-DDD) in one background sample, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethene (4,4'-DDE) in one background sample and one sample from Site 16; and dibenzofuran in one sample from Site 16. BNAs were detected in one background sample and in two samples from Site 16.
Hypothesis testing, using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test (also known as the Mann-Whitney test), indicates no statistical difference between ground-water constituent concentrations from Sites 5 and 16, and background concentrations. Hypothesis testing, however, indicates the concentration of barium in background ground-water samples is greater than in ground-water samples collected at Site 16.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Soil chemistry and ground-water quality of the water-table zone of the surficial aquifer, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Camden County, Georgia, 1998 and 1999