Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Reinemann, Martin W.||Caldwell, Loren T.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Earth Science


Sewage disposal; Water--Pollution


Many of the problems which beset man are a direct result of his lack of understanding his environment. This study deals with problems which result from the use of septic tank systems for sewage disposal. The problems are related to the environment and to man’s use of the environment. Areas in which conditions are most liable to foster pollution of ground water by sewage effluent from septic tank systems were selected for this study. The areas for this study were limited to those in DuPage County in which the unconsolidated material is less than 100 feet thick and has a rapid to moderate rate of permeability. Ground water samples were taken from wells in these areas and tested to determine the content of ABS. It was assumed the presence of the chemical ABS would indicate other possible pollution. Eight out of twenty wells from which samples were obtained, indicated a trace of apparent ABS in the test. Seven of the eight are located in the Elmhurst Area. The other polluted well is located on an isolated farm in the Naperville Area. This study indicates that a high density of septic tank systems in a given area is an important factor in ground water pollution by septic tank systems. The thickness of the unconsolidated material is probably of secondary importance. The importance of the permeability of the unconsolidated material as a factor in pollution of ground water is not altered by this study. It seems reasonable that permeability is an important factor in this problem. All of the wells from which samples were obtained in the residentially congested areas average almost 100 feet in depth. Wells with less depth might have produced more evidence of pollution, but no such well logs were filed from the areas studied. Also, drought conditions have existed in DuPage County for seventeen consecutive months prior to this study. This may have some effect on ground water pollution by septic tank systems. Further study is necessary to determine the quality of the ground water in DuPage County and to maintain the public health as the population increases.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations and maps.


vii, 47 pages




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