Ground-water development on Long Island has followed a pattern that has reflected changing population trends, attendant changes in the use and disposal of water, and the response of the hydrologic system to these changes. The historic pattern of development has ranged from individually owned shallow wells tapping glacial deposits to large-capacity public-supply wells tapping deep artesian aquifers. Sewage disposal has ranged from privately owned cesspools to modern large-capacity sewage-treatment plants discharging more than 70 mgd of water to the sea.
At present (1965), different parts of long Island are characterized by different stages of ground-water development. In parts of Suffolk County in eastern long Island, development is similar to the earliest historical stages. Westward toward New York City, ground-water development becomes more intensive and complex, and the attendant problems become more acute. The alleviation of present problems and those that arise in the future will require management decisions based on the soundest possible knowledge of the hydrologic system, including an understanding of the factors involved in the changing pattern of ground-water development on the island.
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USGS Numbered Series
The changing pattern of ground-water development on Long Island, New York