Presenter Information

Christine E. Bough

Research Advisor

Bolter, Ernst

Advisor's Department

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering


This is a case study of the groundwater quality near the McDowell Sanitary Landfill in Phelps County, Missouri. The landfill is located in section 21 of T37N R8W off of Missouri State Highway CC. This landfill is a near surface solid waste disposal facility above the groundwater table located in an abandoned area of a rock quarry. The thickness, lithology, and structure of the material beneath the landfill, and the design of the landfill itself, will influence the time of contaminant transport and degree of modification in the event that leachate escapes the landfill. Among the more important topographic features in Phelps County, Missouri, is the widespread occurrence of karst features, which results from solution and erosion of limestone and dolomite bedrock. Karst features in Phelps County pose a threat to groundwater contamination because of the potential large capacity for open channel flow. There are two major aquifers in Phelps County that could be contamination by a leaking landfill. These are the Roubidoux Sandstone and the Gunter Member of the Gasconade Dolomite. The Roubidoux Sandstone is the shallowest aquifer and thus is the one that has the highest probability of being contaminated. Based on our Atomic Absorption analysis for calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, total iron, and chloride, it was found that the groundwater is not contaminated in Phelps County near the McDowell Sanitary Landfill. These results show that if landfills are properly designed for each hydrogeologic setting, groundwater contamination can be avoided.

Document Type


Presentation Date

April 1991

Included in

Geology Commons