The search for clean, fresh water is of the utmost importance, especially considering the highly industrialized age in which we live and the rising demand caused by increasing population. Many once-clean groundwater reservoirs have been tainted due to the inadequate storage and handling procedures for hazardous materials. One such site operated as a wood-preservation facility between 1937 and 1999 located in western Louisiana in the town of DeRidder. The contaminants that leached into the soils and groundwater supply at this site included creosote, a coal-tar distillate that is an amalgamate of several toxic constituents. The contamination was first detected in 1981, and within the year monitoring wells were installed to evaluate the extent of the pollution. For this study, 61 monitoring wells, 16 of which consistently record hazardous compounds within the subsurface, were analyzed in order to evaluate the temporal and spatial changes of contamination. The data were further correlated with rising and falling groundwater levels, precipitation data, and lithology in order to better understand the trends of the constituents and how they are affected by their environment. Additionally, an indication as to the efficiency of the current remediation practices put in place is examined by evaluating the diminishing contamination values over time compared to previous studies in the area. Hazardous levels within the soil are at their peak near the contamination sources, and spread outward while following the direction of local groundwater flow. This study shows that the total contamination quantities are slowly declining due to the current remediation practices, however, the total area covered by contamination fluctuates over time, and is currently in a state of expansion towards the southwest. A correlation between rainfall events and contamination spikes was noted in a previous study of the area, however, no such correlation was observed in the more recent data.
|Advisor:||Duex, Timothy W.|
|Commitee:||Richter, Carl, Schramm, William H., Schubert, Brian|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental Geology, Environmental science|
|Keywords:||Creosote, Cresol, Groundwater, Naphthalene, Phenol, Remediation|
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