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Volatile Organic Compounds, Specific Conductance, and Temperature in the Bottom Sediments of Mill Pond, Ashland, Massachusetts, April 2001

Open-File Report 02-35

By Peter E. Church, Forest P. Lyford, and Scott Clifford


A plume of volatile organic compounds in ground water extends northward from the former Nyanza Property in Ashland, Massachusetts, and discharges into the Sudbury River and the upstream end of Mill Pond. A network of polyethylene-membrane passive-vapor-diffusion samplers was installed in February 2001 to help define the lateral extent of the plume under the pond, including an area vegetated by wetland herbs, sedges, and shrubs. Chlorobenzene and trichloroethene were detected with passive-vapor-diffusion samplers at five locations in the bottom sediments of the southern part of the approximate one acre of vegetated area in Mill Pond. Vapor concentrations of chlorobenzene ranged from 178 to 2,210 parts per billion by volume, and vapor concentrations of trichloroethene ranged from 20 to 96 parts per billion by volume. Chlorobenzene also was detected in one sediment-pore-water sample extracted with a push-point sampler in this area; the concentration was 25 micrograms per liter. Toluene was detected with passive-vapor-diffusion samplers at three sites in the open pond area north of the vegetated areas. Vapor concentrations of toluene ranged from 20 to 90 parts per billion by volume.

Specific conductance and temperature of sediment-pore waters were measured at selected sampling sites in Mill Pond to examine their possible associations with the presence of volatile organic compounds. Temperature in the sediment-pore water also was measured to convert vapor concentrations of volatile organic compounds collected with diffusion samplers to equivalent water concentrations. These equivalent water concentrations were then to be compared with water concentrations collected with a push-point sampler. Because of the limited detections of volatile organic compounds at sites where water samples were collected and where specific conductance and temperature were measured, these potential associations and conversions could not be assessed.


Description of Study Area
Sampling Methods
Distribution of Volatile Organic Compounds
Specific Conductance and Temperature
References Cited


1,2. Maps showing:

1. Location of study area, Mill Pond, Ashland, Massachusetts

2. Data-collection points, Mill Pond 

3. Graph showing Sudbury River stage at U.S. Geological Survey stream gage

Sudbury River at Saxonville (station 01098530), January 1 to June 30, 2001


1. Volatile organic compound, specific conductance, and temperature data, Mill Pond,

Ashland, Massachusetts, April 10—11, 2001


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Outside Cover (58 KB) --1 page
Inside Cover (19 KB) --2 pages
Table of Contents (40 KB) --2 pages
Body of Report (694 KB) --10 pages
Whole report (726 KB) --15 pages

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