The Fischer and Porter company Superfund Site is underlain by sedimentary rocks of the Upper Triassic Stockton Formation, which consists of interbedded siltstone, very-fine grained to coarse-grained sandstone, and conglomerate in crudely defined upward fining cycles. These rocks form a complex, heterogeneous, leaky, multiaquifer system comprised of a series of gently dipping lithologic units with different hydraulic properties. Ground water is unconfined in the shallower part of the aquifer and confined or semiconfined in the deeper part of the aquifer. Water levels measured in monitor well clusters and borehole-flow measurements made in open boreholes show a downward hydraulic head gradient at the site, caused in part by the pumping of nearby, deep public-supply wells and the Fischer and Porter treatment system extraction wells. Downward borehole flow was measured at rates up to 9 gallons per minute. Aquifer-isolation tests were run in the six boreholes to obtain depth-discrete specific-capacity and water-quality data. On the basis of specific-capacity data for 27 isolated intervals, specific capacity is not related to depth.
Water levels in monitor wells at the Fischer and Porter Site are greatly affected by the pumping of nearby public-supply wells, as well as the pumping of the Fischer and Porter treatment system extraction wells. Pumping of the public-supply wells causes daily water-level fluctuations in wells at the site as great as 5.3 feet. The shutdown of the Fischer and Porter treatment system extraction wells caused a rise in water level in all wells screened in the intermediate and deep zones. The rise in water level was as great as 4.3 feet in the intermediate zone and as great as 5.9 feet in the deep zone. The direction of ground-water flow is toward the north in the shallow and intermediate zones and toward the west and west-southwest in the deep zone. Ground-water discharge probably is to the unnamed tributary to Pennypack Creek north and west of the site.
Volatile organic compounds (VOC's) were detected in most depth-discrete water samples. No general trend of increasing or decreasing concentrations of VOC's with depth were observed, and none of the isolated intervals had highly elevated concentrations of VOC's. Observed fairly constant concentrations of VOC's with depth are the result of the downward head gradient and the former presence of open boreholes on the site. The downward head gradient and pumping of nearby, deep public-supply wells caused the vertical migration and outward movement of VOC's into the aquifer through former supply and monitor wells of open-hole construction in the main area of contamination.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Geohydrology and vertical distribution of volatile organic compounds in ground water, Fischer and Porter Company Superfund Site, Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania