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One of the goals of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey is to evaluate the occurrence and distribution of synthetic organic compounds in the ground-water resources of the Nation. During June and July 1999, water samples were collected from 32 wells and 2 springs in the Mississippian Carbonate aquifer in the Eastern Highland Rim area of Tennessee and Alabama as a part of the lower Tennessee River Basin NAWQA. Samples were analyzed for 85 volatile organic compounds (VOC's) and 47 pesticides.
VOC's were detected in 82 percent of the samples, with a total of 24 compounds detected. Chlorinated solvents were detected in 41 percent of the samples, with trichloroethylene having the highest concentration at 7.48 micrograms per liter (µg/L), and perchloroethylene the highest frequency of detection. Fuel related VOC's were detected in 68 percent of the samples, with toluene having the highest concentration at 0.286 µg/L. Disinfectant byproducts were detected in 62 percent of the samples, with chloroform having the highest frequency of detection and the highest concentration at 0.836 µg/L. Refrigerants were detected in 12 percent of the samples, with trichlorofluoromethane having the highest concentration at 1.57 µg/L.
Pesticides were detected in 50 percent of the samples, with eight pesticides and one degradation product detected. Atrazine and deethylatrazine had the highest frequency of detection (38 and 41 percent, respectively). Metolachlor was detected in about 18 percent of the samples, and had the highest concentration at 2.62 µg/L. Dieldrin, prometon, tebuthiuron, simazine, carbaryl, and acetochlor were also detected in less than about 20 percent of the samples at concentrations generally less than 0.1 µg/L.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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