The Weldon Spring Chemical Plant is located just north of the drainage divide separating the Mississippi River and the Missouri River in St. Charles County, Missouri. From 1957 to 1966 the plant converted uranium-ore concentrates and recycled scrap to pure uranium trioxide, uranium tetrafluoride, and uranium metal. Residues from these operations were pumped to four large pits that had been excavated near the plant. Small springs and losing streams are present in the area. Water overlying the residue in the pits has a large concentration of dissolved solids and a different chemical composition compared to the native groundwater and surface water. This difference is indicated by the concentrations of calcium, sodium, sulfate, nitrate, fluoride, uranium, radium, lithium, molybdenum, strontium, and vanadium, all of which are greater than natural or background concentrations. Water from Burgermeister Spring, located about 1.5 miles north of the chemical plant area, contains uranium and nitrate concentrations greater than background concentrations. Groundwater in the shallow bedrock aquifer moves northward from the vicinity of the chemical plant toward Dardenne Creek. An abandoned limestone quarry several miles southwest of the chemical plant also has been used for the disposal of radioactive waste and rubble. Groundwater flow from the quarry area is southward through the alluvium, away from the quarry and toward the Missouri River. The St. Charles County well field is located in the Missouri River flood plain near the quarry and the large yield wells are open to the Missouri River alluvial aquifer. Water from a well 4,000 ft southeast of the quarry was analyzed; there was no indication of contamination from the quarry. Additional water quality and water level data are needed to determine if water from the quarry moves toward the well field. Observation wells need to be installed in the area between the chemical plant, pits, and Dardenne Creek. The wells would be used to provide access for measurements of depth to ground water and for the collection of water samples from the shallow bedrock aquifer.
|Title||Compilation and preliminary interpretation of hydrologic data for the Weldon Spring radioactive waste-disposal sites, St Charles County, Missouri — A progress report|
|Authors||M. J. Kleeschulte, L. F. Emmett|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Water-Resources Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|