Gloucester County is in the southwestern part of New Jersey, below Camden, and is a part of the Lower Delaware River Valley. This area is attracting new industry and has shown a population increase of about 47 percent from 1950 to 1960, mostly urban. With the economic growth of the county, the availability and quality of water become increasingly important.
The county is in the Coastal Plain of New Jersey. It is underlain by unconsolidated sands and clays of Quaternary, Tertiary, and Cretaceous age. The Raritan and Magothy Formations constitute the most important aquifers and yield more than 95 percent of the water pumped by the public water systems in the county. These formations are capable of yielding 1,400 gpm (gallons per minute) or more to large diameter wells. High yielding wells generally can be drilled anywhere in the county, although the formations are deeper toward the Atlantic Ocean. The Cohansey Sand, second most important aquifer, yields up to 800 gpm or more from large diameter wells. This aquifer is present only in the sparsely populated southeastern half of the county. The Wenonah Formation and Mount Laurel Sand are capable of yielding 100 to 200 gpm in certain areas.
The overall chemical quality of the naturally occurring ground water is good. The water generally meets the U.S. Public Health Service‘s (1962) suggested limit for dissolved solids; however, in some areas, the water carries objectionable amounts of iron and nitrate in solution and has a low pH. Contamination of ground water by salt-water encroachment or by pollution from industrial activity or organic waste in densely populated areas should be prevented. The quality rather than the quantity of water may be the important factor in future ground-water developments.
The 21 public water systems in Gloucester County pumped about 1.3 billion gallons of water during 1948 and some 2.7 billion gallons during 1959. This is slightly more than a hundred percent increase in pumpage in 12 year s. The average per capita public water supply consumption in 1959 was approximately 75 gallons per day.
This report includes a summary of the history of the present installations, groundwater conditions, quality and availability of water, and potential future yield for the 2 public water systems in Gloucester County.