Previous investigations have shown that natural attenuation and biodegradation of chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) are substantial in shallow ground water beneath the 9-acre former landfill at Operable Unit 1 (OU 1), Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Division Keyport, Washington. This report presents the ground-water geochemical and selected CVOC data collected at OU 1 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) during June 17-20, 2003 in support of long-term monitoring for natural attenuation.
Strongly reducing conditions favorable for reductive dechlorination of CVOCs were found in fewer upper-aquifer wells during June 2003 than were found during sampling periods in 2001 and 2002. Redox conditions in water from the intermediate aquifer just downgradient from the landfill remained somewhat favorable for reductive dechlorination. As was noted in previous monitoring reports, the changes in redox conditions observed at individual wells have not been consistent or substantial throughout either the upper or the intermediate aquifers.
Compared to 2002 data, total CVOC concentrations in June 2003 were nearly unchanged in all northern plantation piezometers sampled, although the concentrations were historically low at two of those sites. Total CVOC concentrations decreased consistently in the southern plantation samples. Historically low total CVOC concentrations were observed in three of the piezometers sampled, and a two order-of-magnitude decrease in total CVOCs was observed at one of those sites. The observed decreases in CVOC concentrations appear to be in contrast with the 2003 redox data that suggested less favorable conditions for reductive dechlorination. The Navy and USGS plan to do more extensive data-collection and interpretation during 2004 to better understand and document possible changes in redox conditions and contaminant biodegradation.