Northeastern Section - 53rd Annual Meeting - 2018

Paper No. 24-6
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM


BELAVAL, Marcel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 5 Post Office Square, OEP06-2, Boston, MA 02109, BOUTT, David F., Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Morrill Science Center, 611 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003, SCHROEDER, Timothy, Natural Sciences, Bennington College, 1 College Drive, Bennington, VT 05201, RYAN, Peter, Geology Department, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753 and KIM, Jonathan J., Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont Geological Survey, 1 National Life Dr, Main 2, Montpelier, VT 05620-3902

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination in the Walloomsac River watershed in southwestern Vermont has been identified in surface water, overburden sediments, and groundwater from both the overburden and the underlying fractured rock aquifers. In order to characterize transport pathways for PFOA in the system, a conceptual model for the site-specific hydrologic system, including groundwater-surface water interactions, is being developed. Field work from the team in July and August 2017 yielded 51 samples for radon (n=12) and stable isotopic (δ18O-H2O and δ2H-H2O) analyses (n=51) of stream water, spring water, streambed seepage, and groundwater samples from till, gravel, and bedrock aquifers. Samples ranged in electrical conductivity from 225 – 803 (μS/cm). Radon results show a strong signal differentiating surface water and groundwater. All samples possess deuterium excess of > 10, typical for this region, and range from -11 to -7.5 in δ18O-H2O per mil. Surface water shows the most variability of sample type and likely reflects a colder and higher elevation source of the Walloomsac River in the Green Mountains. The enriched samples are all from Paran Creek, a smaller lower elevation catchment that feeds into the Walloomsac River. Local streambed seepage (identified through cold anomalies on FLIR cameras) sampled with drivepoints were always more isotopically enriched than the streamwater and likely reflect that local streambed seepage is a distinct source of water. The till, gravel, and spring waters fall between the most depleted and enriched stream waters. The bedrock waters don’t follow this pattern and 5 of the 6 samples from deep bedrock wells have the most depleted compositions that were analyzed. The single bedrock well sample that does not follow this pattern is from a shallower depth. The 3 deep bedrock samples also have a distinct d-excess value. δ18O-H2O and δ2H-H2O isotope sampling are shown to be useful to differentiate groundwater and surface water, and results suggest a distinctive isotopic signature related to different groundwater regions of the study area. This sampling work is part of an ongoing multi-component research project to study the fate and transport of PFOA through the groundwater-surface water system.