Monitoring Septic Effluent Transport and Attenuation using Geophysical Methods

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Project Number:

WR07R006

Funding Year:

2007

Contract Period:

7/1/2007 - 6/30/2009

Funding Source:

UWS

Investigator(s):
PIs:
  • Dante Fratta, UW-Madison
  • David Hart, WGNHS
  • Kevin Masarik, UW-Stevens Point
Abstract:

The objectives of this study is to use GPR and ERT surveys to image the attenuation of contaminant plumes leaving septic leach fields in sands and clayey tills in the south and central parts of Wisconsin. Knowledge of subsurface contaminant transport and fluid properties will help future developers to decide the location and depth of leach fields and private drinking water wells, especially when several homes are built near each other. Homeowners can apply knowledge learned in this study to avoid installing wells in the path of contaminants or to minimize contamination of groundwater down-gradient from their septic systems. Imaging of contaminants will help hydrogeologists understand principles controlling the flow of groundwater, so they, too, can educate the public about groundwater contamination.

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