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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Landfill Modeling, Contamination; Groundwater, Transport

Authors
item Flerchinger, Gerald
item Deng, Y - U OF I
item Gebhardt, Karl - BLM

Submitted to: Journal of Ground Water
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Abandoned landfill sites pose an uncertain threat to water quality and environmental health. These sites historically had little or no regulation for use or maintenance, and it is often unknown what hazardous materials may have been discarded. Evaluation and remediation of these sites can be extremely costly. Computer models can be a cost-effective tool for assessing the potential hazards that a site may pose to the environment and for evaluating potential remediation measures. This paper demonstrates how three different computer models were used at the Murtaugh landfill site located in southern Idaho to address different avenues in which buried contaminant may pollute surface and ground waters. The complex situations at the Murtaugh landfill are more complicated because the large quantities of liquid chemical and the complex layering of soils. Three computer models were used to simulate the significance of contamination to determine the potential risk that the landfill site posed to the nearby environment. This analysis of contaminant transport provided decision support for risk assessment to the environment and remediation alternatives for the Murtaugh landfill.

Technical Abstract: Abandoned landfill sites pose an uncertain threat to water quality and environmental health. These sites historically had little or no regulation for use or maintenance, and it is often unknown what hazardous materials may have been discarded. Evaluation and remediation of these sites can be extremely costly. Numerical models of contaminant fate and transport can be a cost-effective tool for assessing the potential hazards that a site may pose and for evaluating potential remediation measures, but seldom are models available which can simulate all aspects of contaminant fate and transport under complex site condition. A study is presented describing the site investigation and remediation of an abandoned landfill reported to contain unknown quantities of disulfoton, an acutely toxic pesticide. Depending upon disulfoton concentration, it may or may not be dissolved in the soil water; thus, it may be transported in the soil either in an aqueous (dissolved) phase solution with soil water or as a non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL). Because of the complex nature of the site and contaminant, it was necessary to employ three different numerical models to analyze different aspects of the problem. Procedures are presented for site remediation based on site investigation, numerical modeling, and risk assesment.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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