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"Oily sheen on water"

Ken Klemow kklemow at WILKES1.WILKES.EDU
Wed Sep 11 11:16:39 EST 1996

>I am trying to find out the cause of what appears to be a film of "oil"
>on water draining from waterlogged or "boggy" soil. Are there bacteria
>which synthesise hydrocarbons or is the oily sheen the result of
>decomposition of plant waxes or other naturally occurring products, for
>Roger Jones, Department of Biology, Trent University,
>Peterborough, Ontario, Can. K9J 7B8
>Telephone (705) 748 1312.  Fax (705) 748 1205


Is there any way that iron could be getting into the water?  If so, the
sheen that you see could be iron carbonate.  The way to distinguish that
possibility from organic causes, stick your finder into the surface.  If
the sheen breaks up into many smaller fragments, I would suspect that iron
carbonate is the cause.

Ken K.

Kenneth M Klemow, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Wilkes University
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
(717) 831-4758
kklemow at wilkes1.wilkes.edu

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