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CEE Spring 2007 Seminar
Friday January 19th, 2007
2:00 pm

Assessment of the Sorption Potential of Hawaii Soils for Pathogens and Organic Chemicals

Chittaranjan Ray
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Hawaii at Manoa


Ground water is the primary source of drinking water for all the major islands of Hawaii. Past contamination of ground water with pesticides has added to the cost of water treatment on Oahu and Maui. In certain other locations, contamination has resulted in the closure of drinking water wells. As finding alternate sources of water can be difficult or extremely expensive, we are helping the state in developing knowledge base for the leachability of organic chemicals and pathogens. Over the past 10 years, we have worked with various agencies to evaluate the leachability of these chemicals or pathogens through Hawaii soils. For selected soils on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai, we have examined the leachability pesticides and other endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). For selected soils on Oahu and Hawaii, we have evaluated their potential to retain indicator pathogens from leaching to ground water. Some of these highly-weathered soils have strong sorption potential for pathogens and EDCs. Retention of pesticides depends more on the pesticide properties. Summaries of laboratory and field experiments will be presented. The use of some of our work in assisting the state in registering new pesticides will be elucidated.

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