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

Anthony J. Tesoriero,a Frank E. Loffler,band Hugh Liebscher c

a U.S. Geological Survey
b Georgia Institute of Technology
c Environment Canada


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 analysis 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.

Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 35, No. 3, Pages 455-461, 2001

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