Hydrogeology and water quality of ground water and selected streams were evaluated near a landfill in northwestern Ohio. The landfill is used for codisposal of solid and hazardous waste. Water-level and geologic data were collected from 36 wells and 3 surface-water sites during the period November 1983 to November 1985. Water-quality samples were collected from 18 wells and 3 surface-water sites this during this same period.
The primary aquifers in the area are the Greenfield Dolomite and underlying Lockport Dolomite of Silurian age. These bedrock carbonates are overlain by two clay tills of Wisconsin age. The tills are capped by a glacial lake clay. The tills generally are saturated, but do not yield sufficient water to be considered an aquifer. Two wells in the study area yield water, in part, from discontinuous deposits of outwash sand and gravel at the lower till-bedrock interface.
Regional ground-water flow is from southwest to northeast; local flow is influenced by a ground-water mound centered under the northernmost cells of the landfill. Water levels in wells penetrating refuse within the landfill and the presence of leachate seeps indicate that the refuse is saturated. Head relations among the landfill, till, and dolomite aquifer indicate a vertical component of flow downward from the landfill to the dolomite aquifer. Water levels near the landfill fluctuate as much as 14 feet per year, in contrast to fluctuations of less than 3 feet per year in wells upgradient landfill.
Ground waters from wells completed in the dolomite aquifer and glacial till were found to have major-iron concentrations controlled, in large part, by reaction with calcite, dolomite, and other minerals in the aquifer. Only minor departures from equilibrium mineral saturation were noted for ground water, except in wells affected by cement/grout contamination. Molal ratios of calcuim:magnesium in ground water suggest a similar chemical evolution of waters throughout the dolomite aquifer in the study area. Stable-isotope ratios of oxygen and hydrogen indicate the source of water in the till unit and dolomite aquifer is atmospheric precipitation.
Elevated levels of total dissolved solids, boron, ammonia, and iron in the leachate and in wells downgradient of the landfill may indicate mixing of ground water with leachate. Oxygen and hydrogen stable-isotope ratios were used to differentiate waters from the glacial till and dolomite aquifer. Isotope ratios also show a shift off the local mixing line for leachate and for a well just downgradient from the landfill. The shift to heavier values of o D in the well water may be indicative of leachate mixing with ground water.
The effect of this mixing denoted by hydrologic, isotopic, and chemical-quality data is limited mostly to elevated levels of the common ions. Analysis did not indicate significant levels of toxic metals or organic contaminants except phenol, which was present at concentrations of from 1 to 5 micrograms per liter in six wells. Analysis of water-quality data from nearby streams suggest that surface leaching from the landfill does not significantly affect stream-water quality, but may contribute to higher level of trace metals in the streambed sediments.