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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

Toxics Program Remediation Activities

Natural Aquifer Restoration

Type
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Natural Attenuation Evaluation
Location Massachusetts Military Reservation, Cape Cod, MA
Partners National Guard Bureau
Technology Natural Restoration
Contaminants Treated Sewage
Description

Vertical cross section through the wastewater (treated sewage) plume on Cape Cod, MA, showing the distribution of dissolved ammonium (NH4+ ) in micromoles per liter (µmol/L) during 1994. Small dots indicate data points. The cross-section shows a cloud of NH4+ in the center of the wastewater plume that is moving much slower than ground water. The cross section is a modified version of figure 3 from Böhlke and others, 2006, and is based on data from Savoie and LeBlanc, 1998.
Vertical cross section through the wastewater (treated sewage) plume on Cape Cod, MA, showing the distribution of dissolved ammonium (NH4+ ) in micromoles per liter (µmol/L) during 1994. Small dots indicate data points. The cross-section shows a cloud of NH4+ in the center of the wastewater plume that is moving much slower than ground water. The cross section is a modified version of figure 3 from Böhlke and others, 2006, and is based on data from Savoie and LeBlanc, 1998.
(click image for a larger version)
A team of USGS scientists is studying the natural restoration of an aquifer that was contaminated by 60 years of land disposal of treated wastewater on the Massachusetts Military Reservation, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In 1995 land disposal to infiltration beds of the wastewater from the treatment of sewage was discontinued, and natural processes in the contaminated aquifer have begun to gradually restore the water quality. The natural processes involved are often referred to as natural attenuation. Many questions arose about how long the natural restoration of the aquifer will take. To answer these questions the USGS is conducting:

Methods and approaches to measure and predict the rate of natural restoration of contaminated ground water are needed by cleanup professionals and natural-resource managers nationwide. These professionals can use the results of this information to develop sound decisions regarding the restoration of aquifers through the use of natural attenuation.

More Information
Contact Denis LeBlanc, USGS, Massachusetts Water Science Center, Northborough, MA,
Publications
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USGS Information on Natural Attenuation

Other Toxics Remediation Studies on Cape Cod

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 06-May-2014 14:37:04 EDT