U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4175
by Shannon D. Williams
This report is available as a pdf below
From November 2001 to January 2002, a study of the ground-water resources in the Crumpton Creek area of Middle Tennessee was conducted to determine whether volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from Arnold Air Force Base (AAFB) have affected local private water supplies and to advance understanding of the ground-water-flow system in this area. VOC samples were collected from private wells that were not included in previous sampling efforts conducted in the Crumpton Creek area near AAFB. Ground-water-flow directions were investigated by measuring water levels in wells and constructing a potentiometric-surface map of the Manchester aquifer in the study area. Data were collected from a total of 68 private wells, 82 monitoring wells, and 1 cave during the period of study. Ground-water levels were determined for 42 of the private wells and for all 82 monitoring wells. Of the 82 monitoring wells, 81 withdraw water from the Manchester aquifer and 1 well withdraws water from the overlying shallow aquifer. The Manchester aquifer wells range in depth from 20 to 150 feet. Water-level altitudes for the Manchester aquifer ranged from 956 to 1,064 feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929. Water levels ranged from approximately 6 feet above land surface to 94 feet below land surface. Water-quality samples were collected from all 68 private wells, 8 of the monitoring wells, and the 1 cave.
Of the 55 VOCs analyzed, 42 were not detected. Thirteen VOCs were detected; however, only tetrachloroethylene (PCE), methylene chloride, and toluene were detected at concentrations equal to or above reporting levels for the analytical method used. PCE was detected in water samples from 15 private wells and was the only VOC that exceeded drinking water maximum contaminant levels for public water systems. PCE concentrations in samples from five of the wells were below the reporting level and ranged from estimated concentrations of 0.46 to 0.80 microgram per liter (µg/L). Samples from 10 wells contained concentrations equal to or greater than the analytical reporting level of 1 µg/L for PCE. Samples from one of these wells contained PCE concentrations (12 µg/L and 11 µg/L) exceeding the drinking water maximum contaminant level of 5 µg/L for PCE. The spatial distribution of PCE detections and the relative concentrations of PCE and trichloroethylene suggest that the PCE detections are associated with a small and localized ground-water contamination plume unrelated to AAFB ground-water contamination.
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