USGS

Concentrations of selected trace inorganic constituents and synthetic organic compounds in the water-table aquifers in the Memphis area, Tennessee

U.S. Geological Survey, Open File Report 88-485

by B.W. McMaster and W.S. Parks

This report is available as a pdf below


Preface

Water-quality samples for analysis of selected trace inorganic constituents and synthetic organic compounds were collected from 29 private or observation wells in the alluvium and fluvial deposits of Quaternary and Tertiary (?) age. The alluvium and fluvial deposits are the water-table aquifers in the Memphis area. In addition, nine wells were installed in Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division well fields so that samples could be collected and analyzed to characterize the quality of water in the fluvial deposits at these well fields. Samples from seven of these wells (two were dry) were analyzed for major constituents and properties of water as well as for selected trace inorganic constituents and synthetic organic compounds.

Analyses of the water from most of the 36 wells sampled indicated ranges in concentration values for the trace inorganic constituents that agreed with those previously known, although some new maximum values were established. Analyses of water from four wells indicated that the water is or may be contaminated. Concentrations of barium [1,400 micrograms per liter (ug/L)], strontium (1,100 ug/L), and arsenic (15 ug/L), along with specific conductance (1,420 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius), were high in water from one well in the alluvium. Low concentrations (0.02 to 0.04 ug/L) of the pesticides aldrin, DDT, endosulfan, and perthane were present in water from two wells in the fluvial deposits. Water from one of these wells also contained l,l,l trichloroethane (4.4 ug/L). Analysis ofwater from another well in the fluvial deposits indicated values for specific conductance (1,100 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius), alkalinity (508 milligrams per liter as CaCO3, hardness (550 milligrams per liter as CaCO3, chloride (65 milligrams per liter), and barium (240 ug/L) that are high for water from the fluvial deposits.

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