January 6, 2017

Erin Reed Published in the Journal of Environmental Earth Sciences

Erin Reed (Florida) authored a paper entitled "Chemical and isotopic composition of nitrogen and boron in septic tank wastewater samples" that was published in the Journal of Environmental Earth Sciences on November 25, 2016.


Most of earth’s population depends on onsite sewage systems to dispose of their wastewater to the environment. Samples used to estimate contaminant transport in the environment have typically been collected from nitrogen loads external to the septic tank. Here we characterize the isotopes of boron, nitrate–nitrogen and nitrate–oxygen in partially clarified liquid collected directly from within septic tanks located in Florida. Among other parameters, total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) and total boron were also evaluated. Nitrate–nitrogen isotopes from three samples ranged from +1.25 to +10.00‰, and boron isotopes from five samples ranged from +8.8 to +31.3‰. Nitrate–oxygen isotopes ranged from −3.23 to +19.96‰ and were indicative of an anoxic environment. On average, residential septic tanks were found to contain 96 µg L−1total boron and 63 mg L−1 TKN. Utilizing isotopes of boron, among other parameters, our findings show that the partially clarified liquid in septic tanks contains a distinguishable δ11B signature.

More Information

For more information regarding the event, visit: Journal of Environmental Earth Sciences
For more information on isotopic composition of nitrogen and boron, contact Erin Reed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
To learn more about Erin see her profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ereedpe

Geosyntec Consultants
Geosyntec is a consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure.

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