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Ground-water-quality assessment of the Delmarva Peninsula, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia; analysis of available water-quality data through 1987

Open-File Report 89-34

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Abstract

Regional water quality conditions were analyzed on the basis of available data for the Delmarva Peninsula. A summary of 3 Federal, 5 State, and 14 local agencies, as well as various nonprofit organizations and universities, serving as repositories for water quality data is presented. Also included is information describing the range of chemical constituents, the ease of retrieving the data, and general characteristics of the data for use in a regional groundwater quality assessment. Certain characteristics of the available data limit their usefulness for a regional assessment of groundwater. These include a (1) lack of information on quality control; (2) inconsistent sampling; preservation, and analytical techniques used among and within agencies; (3) the clustering of sampling wells around known or suspected areas of contamination, which can impose a bias on water quality assessments; and (4) lack of information on sampling locations, well depths, well construction, and aquifer characteristics. Despite these limitations, the analysis provides a foundation for more detailed regional assessments of water resources on the Delmarva Peninsula and highlights areas where pertinent data are needed. Results of the analysis indicate that data on trace element and organic compound concentrations in groundwater in the Delmarva Peninsula are scarce, whereas data for nitrate, iron, and manganese concentrations are relatively abundant. The data indicate that elevated concentrations of nitrate, iron, and manganese are prevalent in water throughout the surficial aquifer--an aquifer that not only is important in recharging the underlying confined aquifer system, but in supplying drinking water to the majority of Delmarva Peninsula residents. (USGS)

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Ground-water-quality assessment of the Delmarva Peninsula, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia; analysis of available water-quality data through 1987
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
89-34
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
vii, 71 p.
Number of Pages:
81
Country:
United States
State:
Delaware;Maryl;Virginia
Other Geospatial:
Delmarva Peninsula