Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Geography and Planning

Content Description

1 online resource (xi, 73 pages) : color illustrations, maps (chiefly color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Andrei Lapenas

Committee Members

David Carpenter, Yaozi Liu


Aquifer's, Biodiversity, Conservation & Policy, Groundwater, Remediation, Surface water, Volatile Organic Compound, Dioxane, Emerging contaminants in water

Subject Categories

Environmental Health | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Water Resource Management


1,4-dioxane is a volatile organic compound categorized by the United States Environmental Protection agency (EPA, 2017) as a possible human carcinogen potent to cause tumors in humans. Even though this compound poses significant environmental danger when it contaminates water sources, it is surprisingly less studied, and how it behaves in surface water is less understood. The biggest 1,4-dioxane plume in the United States is located in Long Island region of New York. The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of 1,4-dioxane in surface water and document the influence of existing 1,4-dioxane plume to Twin Lakes Preserve. To achieve these objectives, Upper Twin Pond, a freshwater lake with proximity to the existing plume in Long Island was selected to study the presence of 1,4-dioxane in freshwater fish as well as quantitatively determine the magnitude of 1,4-dioxane contamination in the water. The water samples were selected from multiple sites of the lake and tested using the SIM8260 method recommended by US EPA. Interestingly, the study revealed that 1,4-dioxane was not a contaminant of concern in Upper Twin Pond. The water samples yielded less than 0.20 ppb of 1,4-dioxane. The EPA drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane is 0.34 ppb, and newly adopted drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane in New York state is 1 ppb. Due to the relatively lower levels of 1,4-dioxane in the water body, there is a reduced possibility of its bioaccumulation in fish from this particular lake hence fish samples were not collected. The relatively low proportions of 1,4-dioxane in the water are explained by the compound's extremely volatile nature coupled with the lake's hydrology. It was crucial to discover 1,4-dioxane is not a contaminant of concern in surface water from this lake. Knowing that local freshwater lakes recharge the groundwater reserves, keeping this water body devoid of 1,4- Dioxane was suitable for the residence of Long Island as they depend primarily on groundwater for their domestic utilization. This research provided an opportunity to study this emerging contaminant further and offers preliminary evidence required to explore water recharge and hydrology of Twin Lakes Preserve, Wantagh, NY, and to map the existing plume relative to Twin Lakes Preserve and surrounding freshwater sources.