Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



This study was conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and the Virginia Associated Research Campus (VARC), both branches of the College of William and Mary, to document the nature, extent, and severity of environmental contamination by trace elements from the landfill disposal of fly-ash within the Chisman Creek watershed. Previous work in the area demonstrated that some metals were apparently mobile in the groundwater, and that two nearby household wells were contaminated (Va. SWCB, 1981). These short term studies were limited to the testing of only a few selected contaminants in wells near the fly-ash pits. The goal of our study was to provide a more comprehensive sampling of the basin to delineate the geographical extent of trace element contamination, and to assess whether the levels found there pose a hazard to man or to the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem. An important aspect of the program is the use of an analytical technique which provides simultaneous measurement of a large number of elements, thereby obviating the need to speculate which elements would be found before the field work was begun. Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) is such a technique and provided data on 70 elements from each sample collected during this study.



Fly ash -- Virginia -- Chisman Creek Watershed, Water -- Pollution -- Virginia -- Chisman Creek Watershed