Research study for the development of dredged material disposal criteria.
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The report represents the results of the second phase (laboratory evaluation) of a two-phase study to establish the relationships between the presence of various contaminants within sediments and the effects of sediment dredging and discharge on water quality and aquatic organisms. The basic analytical procedure specified for use in implementing the requirements of Public Laws 92-500 and 92-532 is referred to as the Standard Elutriate Test. This report discusses the factors influencing the release of chemical contaminants from dredged sediments during the elutriate test procedure and evaluates the effectiveness of the test in comparison with other procedures such as bulk sediment analysis. Individual parameters included and numerical values assigned to them as indicators of levels of pollution are discussed individually. Sediments used for the Standard Elutriate Test evaluation and subsequent bioassay research were from the Trinity River, Houston Ship Channel turning basin, Port Aransas Channel, and Corpus Christi Bay, Texas; Mobile Bay, Alabama; Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Ashtabula, Ohio. The oxygen content of the elutriate was found to be one of the most important factors influencing the release of chemical contaminants from dredged sediments during the test. However, the test was found to be insensitive to many other parameters, such as shaking time, method of agitation, solid-to-liquid ratio and various filtration procedures.