An investigation of water quality, organic sediment chemistry, and biological conditions of streams near an abandoned wood-preserving plant site at Jackson, Tennessee, was conducted during December 1990. The study was designed to assess the extent of possible contamination of water and biota in the streams from creosote-related discharge originating at this Superfund site. Central Creek, adjacent to the plant, had degraded water quality and biological conditions. Water samples from the most downstream station on Central Creek contained 30 micrograms per liter of pentachlorophenol, which exceeds the State's criterion maximum concentrations of 9 micrograms per liter for fish and aquatic life. Bottom-sediment samples from stations on Central Creek contained concentrations of acenaphthene, napthalene, and phenanthrene ranging from 1,400 to 2,500 micrograms per kilogram. Chronic or acute toxicity resulted during laboratory experiments using test organisms exposed to creosote-related contaminants. Sediment elutriate samples from Central Creek caused slightly to highly toxic effects on Ceriodaphnia dubia. Pimephales promelas, and Photobacterium phosphoreum. Fish-tissue samples from this station contained concentrations of naphthalene. dibenzofuran, fluorene, and phenanthrene ranging from 1.5 to 3.9 micrograms per kilogram Blue-green algae at this station represented about 79 percent of the organisms counted, whereas diatoms accounted for only 11 percent. Benthic invertebrate and fish samples from Central Creek had low diversity and density. Sediment samples from a station on the South Fork Forked Deer River downstream from its confluence with Central Creek contained concentrations of acenaphthene, anthracene, chrysene, fluoranthene, fluorene, pyrere, and phenanthrene ranging from 2,800 to 69,000 micrograms per kilogram. Sediment elutriate samples using water as elutriate from this station contained concentrations of extractable organic compounds ranging from an estimated 43 to 420 micrograms per liter. Sediment elutriate samples were toxic to Ceriodaphnia dubta, Pimephales promelas, Photobacterium phosphoreum, and Salenastrum capricornulum.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Water quality, organic chemistry of sediment, and biological conditions of streams near an abandoned wood-preserving plant site at Jackson, Tennessee
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],