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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 8 No. 1, p. 126-130
     
    Received: Jan 7, 1978


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doi:10.2134/jeq1979.00472425000800010027x

Pollutant Movement to Shallow Ground Water Tables from Anaerobic Swine Waste Lagoons1

  1. T. G. Ciravolo,
  2. D. C. Martens,
  3. D. L. Hallock,
  4. E. R. Collins,
  5. E. T. Kornegay and
  6. H. R. Thomas2

Abstract

Abstract

The effect of three anaerobic swine waste lagoons on ground water quality was investigated in the Atlantic Coastal Plain region. The lagoons studied were located on high-water-table soils with different textures. Ground water was sampled from wells, with unperforated casings, located at depths to 6 m and distances to 30 m from the lagoons. These samples were taken monthly from September 1974 through January 1975, and bimonthly thereafter through November 1975. Ground water also was sampled in November 1975 from shallow wells with perforated casings located at distances to 36.6 m from two of the three lagoons. Constituents determined to investigate ground water contamination were density of fecal coliforms and concentrations of Cl, Cu, Mn, NH4-N, NO3-N, PO4-P, and Zn.

Chloride, NH4-N, and NO3-N concentrations in ground water samples indicated that seepage entered ground water from each of the three lagoons. Rupture of lagoon seals leading to seepage was attributed to drying of exposed subsoil or embankment soil during recession of lagoon liquid levels and to gas release from microbial activity in soil beneath the seal. Overall, a low level of ground water contamination occurred around a lagoon that was in operation for over 8 years in Myatt very fine sandy loam with a clay subsoil, and a lagoon that was in operation 1 mo prior to this investigation in Dragston fine sandy loam with a sandy clay loam subsoil. Ground water contamination in excess of recommended drinking water standards for Cl and NO3-N occurred around the third lagoon. This lagoon was in operation for >8 years in a disturbed area consisting of predominantly sandy surface and subsurface soil. Ground water contamination in the embankment area of this lagoon was attributed to seepage and beyond the embankment area to ground water contamination from lagoon overflow.

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