WY city groundwater quality affected by airport de-icing chemicals, finds study

Sponsored by


CHEYENNE, WY, Jan. 9, 2014 -- Samples of groundwater collected from an alluvial aquifer beneath a Wyoming airport detected low concentrations of chemicals commonly used at airports for de-icing planes.

Gathered from the Snake River aquifer underneath the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) in the city of Jackson, the groundwater did not contain chemicals at levels greater than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum contaminant levels or health advisory levels. Hydrogeologic conditions were characterized using data collected from 19 Jackson Hole Airport wells.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Jackson Hole Airport Board, analyzed the levels, flow, and quality of groundwater near the airport during 2008 to 2009 and 2011 to 2012 to determine if airport operations were potentially impacting the local groundwater.

Glycol, a substance commonly used in antifreeze, is the primary compound used in aircraft de-icers and was not detected in any samples. Other compounds, however, that are added to the de-icing fluids were detected. Changes in groundwater quality were found when comparing water from wells where the water table was at a higher elevation than the de-icing area to wells that had a water table at a lower elevation.

"The compounds detected in the groundwater are human-made, so it is unlikely there is a natural cause for the change in the water quality," said Peter Wright, USGS hydrologist and author of the report.

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Major CA groundwater storage project for drought, emergencies underway

A groundwater supply project by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission that will provide a water "savings account" to protect against future drought and earthquakes in the Bay Area has completed environmental review and is moving forward to construction later this year.

Study estimates total mass of oil reaching Gulf shore in wake of Deepwater Horizon spill

A research team from the New Jersey Institute of Technology has estimated the total mass of oil that reached the Gulf of Mexico shore in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, which occurred in April of 2010.

Gas leaks from faulty fracking wells linked to groundwater contamination, finds study

A new study has found that improved construction standards for cement well linings and casings at hydraulic fracturing sites is the likely source of most natural gas contamination in drinking water wells associated with fracking.

New book implores industry leaders to reexamine relationship with water

The Water Innovation Project released a new water book for preorder, titled "Damned If We Don't! Ideas for accelerating change around water," focused on water-related issues and stories from authors representing ideas of better managing the industry's relationship with water.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA