Laboratory Study of the Release of Pesticide and PCB Materials to the Water Column During Dredging and Disposal Operations
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Sediments, water column water, and interfacial water samples were obtained from dredged areas located in Calumet Harbor, Chicago; Green Bay near the mouth of the Fox River, Wisconsin; Mt. Hope Bay near Fall River, Massachusetts; Tabbs Bay near the Houston Ship Channel, Texas; and the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee. Samples were analyzed for pesticide materials, PCB, oil and grease, total organic carbon, and silt and clay fraction. Measurable amounts of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) were found in almost all samples. Of the pesticides, dieldrin and DDT compounds were the most common. Aldrin and 2,4-D esters were present in a few samples. No correlation was found between the amount of TOC, oil and grease, and silt and clay fraction, and the sediment PCB content or the interstitial water PCB content. As a result of desorption tests and settling tests using several sediment to water ratios, the transfer of soluble pesticide material to the water was found to be negligible at sediment to water ratios of 1:10 or less. Chlorinated hydrocarbon materials associated with the resuspended solids reached concentrations at or near background water column levels after settling for periods ranging from 5 to 24 hr. (Author)
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