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U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 20-24, 1993, Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4015

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In Situ Biotransformation of Trichloroethylene and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey

by

Theodore A. Ehlke (U.S. Geological Survey, West Trenton, N.J.), Barbara H. Wilson (Dynamac Corporation, Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Laboratory, Ada, Okla.), John T. Wilson (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Laboratory, Ada, Okla.), and Thomas E. Imbrigiotta (U.S. Geological Survey, West Trenton, N.J.)

Abstract

Biotransformation of trichloroethylene (TCE) and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-DCE) was estimated within a part of the unconfined aquifer at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, that is contaminated with chlorinated solvents. The first-order in situ biotransformation rate for TCE was estimated to range from about 0.001 to 0.05 per week. The in situ removal rates generally are more rapid than the biotransformation rates that were previously measured in the laboratory in soil cores collected at the arsenal.In situ biotransformation was estimated to occur more slowly for cis-DCE than TCE. The first-order biotransformation rate for cis-DCE ranged from about 0.01 to 0.03 per week. Long-term concentrations of TCE and cis-DCE in ground water at one location indicate that TCE concentration probably was not the major determining factor limiting the transformation of TCE to cis-DCE in ground water.

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