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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

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Subsurface Injection of Liquid Waste -- Florida

Surface features of a typical injection well in Florida (taken from USGS Water-Supply Paper 2281)
Surface features of a typical injection well in Florida (taken from USGS Water-Supply Paper 2281)
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Subsurface injection of liquid waste is the emplacement of waste liquids associated with manufacturing, sewage treatment, petroleum production, and other activities for disposal purposes into porous geologic formations. The emplacement is accomplished by pumping wastes down a well designed for waste disposal. Some wastes, such as highly concentrated acids used in the steel industry, require wells made of specialized alloy or fiberglass construction materials. Sandstones, unconsolidated sands, and fractured and solution-riddled limestones are the typical geologic formations that are used to dispose of liquid waste.

In 1963 the U.S. Geological Survey began investigating the effects of subsurface injection of liquid wastes from industrial and municipal sources in Florida. The reports from these studies cover the characterization of the hydrogeology of the injection well sites and potential injection intervals, description of the injection wells, and the geochemical and hydraulic effects of waste injection. Of particular note are studies that describe the reactions of the injected waste with the receiving formations and the native ground water. These studies have been funded in part by the Federal-State Cooperative Program of water resources studies and in part by the U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program and predecessor Federal programs from 1970 to 1991.

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Aug-2015 15:44:04 EDT