STP805: Evaluation of Technical Limitations to Determining Organic Contamination in Subsurface Soils

    Baty, CJ
    Environmental chemist and professional engineer, Environmental Engineering and Management, Ltd., Minneapolis, MN

    Perket, CL
    Environmental chemist and professional engineer, Environmental Engineering and Management, Ltd., Minneapolis, MN

    Pages: 17    Published: Jan 1983


    Abstract

    The major technical impediments to quantitative determination of organic contamination in subsurface soils are the following: lack of an established procedure, heterogeneous specimens with unconfirmed representativeness, and difficulty in assessing method accuracy. These technical limitations have been discussed with respect to a specific case study at the site of a former wood-preserving plant.

    Subsurface soil specimens were obtained from the former wastewater drainage trench and lagoons, Soxhlet extracted with methylene chloride, and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) for phenolic compounds and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs), respectively. Interlaboratory and intralaboratory precision was evaluated and was shown to be poor. Accuracy was not determined.

    Excavation and soil test borings were compared for utility and sensitivity in subsurface sampling. Data obtained from soil test borings alone did not adequately depict the subsurface patterns of contamination evidenced by the excavation.

    Keywords:

    organic compounds, environmental, priority pollutants, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, phenolic compounds, hazardous wastes


    Paper ID: STP33534S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D34.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP33534S


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