Open-File Report 2011–1201
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of the Army Environmental and Natural Resources Management Office of the U.S. Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon, Georgia, assessed the hyporheic zone, flood plain, soil gas, soil, and surface-water for contaminants at the Old Incinerator Area at Fort Gordon, from October 2009 to September 2010. The assessment included the detection of organic contaminants in the hyporheic zone, flood plain, soil gas, and surface water. In addition, the organic contaminant assessment included the analysis of explosives and chemical agents in selected areas. Inorganic contaminants were assessed in soil and surface-water samples. The assessment was conducted to provide environmental contamination data to the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon pursuant to requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Part B Hazardous Waste Permit process.
Total petroleum hydrocarbons were detected above the method detection level in all 13 samplers deployed in the hyporheic zone and flood plain of an unnamed tributary to Spirit Creek. The combined concentrations of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and total xylene were detected at 3 of the 13 samplers. Other organic compounds detected in one sampler included octane and trichloroethylene.
In the passive soil-gas survey, 28 of the 60 samplers detected total petroleum hydrocarbons above the method detection level. Additionally, 11 of the 60 samplers detected the combined masses of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and total xylene above the method detection level. Other compounds detected above the method detection level in the passive soil-gas survey included octane, trimethylbenzene, perchlorethylene, and chloroform.
Subsequent to the passive soil-gas survey, six areas determined to have relatively high contaminant mass were selected, and soil-gas samplers were deployed, collected, and analyzed for explosives and chemical agents. No explosives or chemical agents were detected above their method detection levels, but those that were detected were above the nondetection level.
The same six locations that were sampled for explosives and chemical agents were selected for the collection of soil samples. No metals that exceeded the Regional Screening Levels for Industrial Soils as classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were detected at any of the six Old Incinerator Area locations. The soil samples also were compared to values from the ambient, uncontaminated (background) levels for soils in South Carolina. Because South Carolina is adjacent to Georgia and the soils in the coastal plain are similar, these comparisons are valid. No similar values are available for Georgia to use for comparison purposes. The only metal detected above the ambient background levels for South Carolina was barium.
A surface-water sample collected from a tributary west and north of the Old Incinerator Area was analyzed for volatile organic compounds, semivolatile organic compounds, and inorganic compounds (metals). The only volatile organic and (or) semivolatile organic compound that was detected above the laboratory reporting level was toluene. The compounds 4-isopropyl-1-methylbenzene and isophorone were detected above the nondetection level but below the laboratory reporting level and were estimated. These compounds were detected at levels below the maximum contaminant levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Primary Drinking Water Standard. Iron was the only inorganic compound detected in the surface-water sample that exceeded the maximum contaminant level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Secondary Drinking Water Standard. No other inorganic compounds exceeded the maximum contaminant levels for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Primary Drinking Water Standard, National Secondary Drinking Water Standard, or the Georgia In-Stream Water Quality Standard.
First posted September 26, 2011
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Guimaraes, W.B., Falls, W.F., Caldwell, A.W., Ratliff, W.H., Wellborn, J.B., and Landmeyer, J.E., 2011, Assessment of hyporheic zone, flood-plain, soil-gas, soil, and surface-water contamination at the Old Incinerator Area, Fort Gordon, Georgia, 2009–2010: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1201, 49 p., available online at https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1201/.
Purpose and Scope
Description of the Study Area
Passive Hyporheic Zone and Flood-Plain Survey
Passive Soil-Gas Survey
Explosives and Chemical Agents