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Publication Abstract

Retention of Zinc, Cadmium, Copper, and Lead by Geologic Materials Gibb, James P., and Keros Cartwright, 1982  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS COOP-9    Full Text Available
The vertical and horizontal migration patterns of zinc, cadmium, copper, and lead through the soil and shallow aquifer systems at two secondary zinc smelters were defined by use of soil coring and monitoring well techniques. The vertical migration of the same elements at a third zinc smelter also was defined. The migration of metals at the three smelters has been limited by attenuation processes to relatively shallow depths in the soil profile. Cation exchange and precipitation of insoluable metal compounds, resulting from pH changes in the infiltrating solution, were determined to be the principal mechanisms controlling the movement of the metals through the soil. Increased metal contents in the shallow groundwater systems have been confined to the imnediate plant sites.

Soil coring was found to be an effective investigative tool but was not suitable by itself for routine monitoring of waste disposal activities. It should be used to gather preliminary information to aid in determining the proper horizontal and vertical locations for monitoring wells. The analyses of water samples collected in this project generally did not yield a stable, reproducible pattern of results. This indicates the need to develop techniques to obtain representative water samples. The failure of some well seals in a highly polluted environment also indicates the need for additional research into monitoring well construction.

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