In August 1980, the U.S. Geological Survey started a reconnaissance survey of organic solutes in drinking water sources, ground-water monitoring wells, perched water table monitoring wells, and in select waste streams at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL).
The survey was to be a two-phase program. In the first phase, 77 wells and 4 potential point sources were sampled for dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Four wells and several potential point sources of insecticides and herbicides were sampled for insecticides and herbicides. Fourteen wells and four potential organic sources were sampled for volatile and semivolatile organic compounds.
The results of the DOC analyses indicate no high level (>20 mg/L DOC) organic contamination of ground water. The only detectable insecticide or herbicide was a DDT concentration of 10 parts per trillion (0.01 microgram per liter) in one observation well.
The volatile and semivolatile analyses do not indicate the presence of hazardous organic contaminants in significant amounts (>10 micrograms per liter) in the samples taken.
Due to the lack of any significant organic ground-water contamination in this reconnaissance survey, the second phase of the study, which was to follow up the first phase by additional sampling of any contaminated wells, was canceled.