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Fate and Origin of 1,2-Dichloropropane in an Unconfined Shallow Aquifer

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U.S. Geological Survey, 3916 Sunset Ridge Road, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27607, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 200 Bobby Dodd Way, Atlanta, Georgia, 30332, and Environment Canada, 1200 West 73rd Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6P6H9
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2001, 35, 3, 455–461
Publication Date (Web):December 28, 2000
Copyright © 2001 American Chemical Society

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    A shallow aquifer with different redox zones overlain by intensive agricultural activity was monitored for the occurrence of 1,2-dichloropropane (DCP) to assess the fate and origin of this pollutant. DCP was detected more frequently in groundwater samples collected in aerobic and nitrate-reducing zones than those collected from iron-reducing zones. Simulated DCP concentrations for groundwater entering an iron-reducing zone were calculated from a fate and transport model that included dispersion, sorption, and hydrolysis but not degradation. Simulated concentrations were well in excess of measured values, suggesting that microbial degradation occurred in the iron-reducing zone. Microcosm experiments were conducted using aquifer samples collected from iron-reducing and aerobic zones to evaluate the potential for microbial degradation of DCP and to explain field observations. Hydrogenolysis of DCP and production of monochlorinated propanes in microcosm experiments occurred only with aquifer materials collected from the iron-reducing zone, and no dechlorination was observed in microcosms established with aquifer materials collected from the aerobic zones. Careful analyses of the DCP/1,2,2-trichloropropane ratios in groundwater indicated that older fumigant formulations were responsible for the high levels of DCP present in this aquifer.


     Corresponding author e-mail:  [email protected]; phone:  (919)571-4082; fax:  (919)571-4041.

     U.S. Geological Survey.

     Georgia Institute of Technology.


     Environment Canada.

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