Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Earth and Ocean Sciences

Sub-Department

Earth and Environmental Resources Management

First Advisor

Dwayne Porter

Abstract

Radium is a naturally occurring contaminant found in drinking water in South Carolina that can potentially be detrimental to human health. The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate water quality, with respect to radium concentrations, in private residential wells located within the inner coastal plain of South Carolina. Elevated levels of dissolved radium have been reported in several public water supply wells located within this region. Researchers have previously identified ground waters associated with certain aquifer types exhibiting elevated total dissolved solids (TDS), to be also highly likely to exhibit elevated concentrations of radium (Michel and Cothern, 1986; Sturchio, et al., 2001; and, Kozinski et al., 1997). The main research question is can a predictive model be developed that could accurately estimate radium concentrations based upon inexpensive, easily obtained, chemical attributes of the ground water? Two hypotheses related to this question are: (1) concentrations of dissolved ions are significant predictors of naturally occurring dissolved radium in private residential wells located within the acidic sand aquifers of the inner coastal plain of South Carolina; and (2) ground water pH is a significant predictor of naturally occurring dissolved radium in private residential wells located within the acidic sand aquifers of the inner coastal plain of South Carolina.

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