USGS - science for a changing world

Environmental Health - Toxic Substances


Contamination from Sources with Mixed Wastes

Vertical cross sectional diagram of the distribution of dissolved ammonium.
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.
-- from the Cape Cod Investigation
Bibliography XXX Publications

Many contaminant sources introduce a diverse and complex mixture of organic and inorganic contaminants into the subsurface, which can complicate characterizations of contaminant transport, fate and effects. These sources include landfills and wastewater discharges. The resulting contaminant plumes are difficult to characterize, manage, and remediate. Reactions among dissolved chemicals, reactions between dissolved chemicals and the aquifer material, and microbial reactions can significantly accelerate or retard contaminant movement and complicate natural and engineered cleanup. Ongoing research focuses on defining source mixtures, developing field methods for characterization, quantifying transport processes and development of simulation modeling capabilities. Current research focuses on the following three areas:

Landfill Leachate in Alluvial Aquifers -- Norman, Oklahoma

Sewage Contamination in Sand and Gravel Aquifers -- Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Mixed, Low-level Radioactive and Other Wastes -- Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nevada

Program Science Feature Articles on Mixed Waste Contamination Research

Fact Sheets

New Publications

USGS Home Water Land Resources Science Systems Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Environmental Health Hazards

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 14-Apr-2016 15:53:26 EDT