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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances


U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting Charleston South Carolina March 8-12, 1999--Volume 3 of 3--Subsurface Contamination From Point Sources, Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4018C

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Evolution of a Ground-Water Sewage Plume After Removal of a 60-Year-Long Source, Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Fate of Volatile Organic Compounds

By Kimberly W. Campo and Kathryn M. Hess


Evolution of a plume of contaminated ground water is being observed following the cessation in December 1995 of disposal of treated sewage onto rapid-infiltration beds at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Concentrations of nonreactive species are decreasing as cleaner ground water from upgradient enters the contaminated aquifer. Oxygen concentrations in the contaminated aquifer remain low. The cessation of sewage disposal altered ground-water-flow patterns beneath the beds, allowing ground water contaminated with volatile organic compounds upgradient of the sewage-treatment plant to enter the sewage-contaminated zone beneath the beds. This new flow path has implications for natural attenuation of volatile organic compounds.


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