AEG meeting: Nitrates in Rural Groundwater

Notice of Meeting
Announcement from the BWH Section of the
Association of Environmental &
Engineering Geologists
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Baltimore MD – Washington DC – Harrisburg PA
Topic: Nitrates in Rural Groundwater Supply Wells Not from Farming:
An Unexpected Finding Based on Forensic Hydrogeology
PRESENTER: Mark W. Eisner, P.G., President, Advanced Land & Water, Inc.
ABSTRACT: Sharptown is located in an agriculturally dominated portion of the Delmarva Peninsula and is supplied by four wells. Groundwater quality compliance samples have reflected elevated nitrate concentrations for years. Non-point agricultural sources were thought to be the source of the nitrates, but detailed study as a component of an updated Source Water Protection Plan assessment now has revealed a differing and surprising interpretation. For our source water assessment work, we analyzed available water quality data via End-Member Mixing Analysis. EMMA is a common surface water investigative technique; its use to interpret groundwater contaminant sources and contributions is less common. We used chloride and nitrate as tracers,
based on the limited compliance data available. The lack of known septic systems near the wellfield, seasonality of nitrate concentration fluctuations and historic reports of sewer system leaks suggest that the nitrate may originate more from a local sewer system leak than from historic and regional farming. Work is ongoing and we are sampling for indicators of detergents and
domestic sewage. If the sewer system leak suggested by these findings is confirmed, its repair may offer a more economical means of nitrate reduction than treatment and a more assured means than encouraging changes in long-standing local agricultural practices.
Mark is an enthusiastic, lively speaker, presenting the latest groundwater hydrogeological analysis and testing tools available to hydrogeologists and environmental scientists.

DATE: Thursday, October 18, 2012
TIME: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Pastimes Café (inside Hampton Inn)
5311 Buckeystown Pike
Frederick, MD 21704
(At I-270 & Buckeystown Pike MD-85)
COST (dinner & mtg):
Members and non-members: $30
Students: $20
6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Social Hour and Section Business
7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dinner
8 p.m. Presentation
9 p.m. Closing Statements
To reserve a seat, please email Kris McCandless no later than (NLT) NOON Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at .


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