Geochemistry, Biochemistry, and Surface/Groundwater Interactions for As, Cr, Ni, Zn, and Cd with Applications to Contaminated Waterfronts

EPA Grant Number: R828771C003
Subproject: this is subproject number 003 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R828771
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (2001) - Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments
Center Director: Bouwer, Edward J.
Title: Geochemistry, Biochemistry, and Surface/Groundwater Interactions for As, Cr, Ni, Zn, and Cd with Applications to Contaminated Waterfronts
Investigators: Smets, Barth F. , MacKay, Allison , Nikolaidis, Nik
Current Investigators: Smets, Barth F. , MacKay, Allison
Institution: University of Connecticut
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management

Objective:

We will investigate the mechanisms controlling the off-site transport of subsurface heavy metal contaminants from industrial waterfront sites to adjacent water bodies. We hypothesize that the upgradient heavy metal flux is governed by anaerobic microbial activity that may mobilize or retard the transport of metal species. The activity of anaerobic microbial communities is hypothesized to be governed by the availability of assimilable organic matter and the bioavailability of SO42- and/or Fe3+ in the contaminated zone. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the migration of dissolved and colloidal heavy metals from the groundwater to the surface water is mitigated by direct and indirect metal immobilization in the groundwater/surface water interface (the hyporheic zone). Controlling factors include chemical Fe2+ oxidation and chemolithotrophic and chemoheterotrophic microbial activities.

Approach:

We propose to study groundwater metal transport at a waterfront site (Stratford, CT) using field observations and laboratory studies. Solid and groundwater samples will be collected from the upgradient groundwater zone and the groundwater/surface water interface. The spatial distributions of heavy metal contaminants (As, Cr, Ni, Zn, Cd) will be quantified in solid and liquid samples. Using genotypic probing techniques, the relative abundances of chemolithotrophic and chemoheterotrophic microbial activities will be determined in solid samples from the hyporheic zone. The significance of dissimilatory sulfate and iron reduction in the direct, or indirect, immobilization of cationic species (Cd, Ni, Zn) and oxyanions (CrO42-) will be determined in microcosm experiments. Microcosm experiments will also be used to assess the mobilization of arsenic species from solid samples under reducing conditions and the relative importance of chemical vs. biological Fe2+ oxidation in the hyporheic zone. Finally, in situ samplers will be used to collect solid precipitates formed in the hyporheic zone for elemental and spectroscopic analyses.

Expected Results:

The purpose of this project is to develop the first detailed description of the processes that govern the fate of heavy metals discharging to water bodies at contaminated waterfront sites. Results will enable the development of mechanism-based fate models to be used by water and sediment quality managers for assessing the ecological risks of exposure to groundwater heavy metals released to surface waters and sediments in urban areas. These decision-making tools will lead to more expedient reclamation of those waterfront sites.

Supplemental Keywords:

GSI, metal transport, arsenic, chromate, bacteria., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Environmental Chemistry, Geochemistry, Restoration, Hazardous Waste, Bioremediation, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Groundwater remediation, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Hazardous, fate and transport, hazardous waste treatment, microbial degradation, decision making, spectroscopic studies, biodegradation, urban environmental, Chromium, microbial breakdown, anaerobic microbial activity, arsenic release, transport models, treatment, Zinc, aquatic ecosystems, environmental rehabilitation, water quality, contaminated groundwater, groundwater contamination, contaminated aquifers, urban environment, cadmium, metal wastes, contaminated waterfront, arsenic, groundwater pollution, metals, groundwater, bacterial degradation, heavy metals

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R828771    HSRC (2001) - Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828771C001 Co-Contaminant Effects on Risk Assessment and Remediation Activities Involving Urban Sediments and Soils: Phase II
    R828771C002 The Fate and Potential Bioavailability of Airborne Urban Contaminants
    R828771C003 Geochemistry, Biochemistry, and Surface/Groundwater Interactions for As, Cr, Ni, Zn, and Cd with Applications to Contaminated Waterfronts
    R828771C004 Large Eddy Simulation of Dispersion in Urban Areas
    R828771C005 Speciation of chromium in environmental media using capillary electrophoresis with multiple wavlength UV/visible detection
    R828771C006 Zero-Valent Metal Treatment of Halogenated Vapor-Phase Contaminants in SVE Offgas
    R828771C007 The Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments (CHSUE) Outreach Program
    R828771C008 New Jersey Institute of Technology Outreach Program for EPA Region II
    R828771C009 Urban Environmental Issues: Hartford Technology Transfer and Outreach
    R828771C010 University of Maryland Outreach Component
    R828771C011 Environmental Assessment and GIS System Development of Brownfield Sites in Baltimore
    R828771C012 Solubilization of Particulate-Bound Ni(II) and Zn(II)
    R828771C013 Seasonal Controls of Arsenic Transport Across the Groundwater-Surface Water Interface at a Closed Landfill Site
    R828771C014 Research Needs in the EPA Regions Covered by the Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments
    R828771C015 Transport of Hazardous Substances Between Brownfields and the Surrounding Urban Atmosphere