Relations between corrosive ground water, water chemistry, and geology in Pennsylvania were evaluated by use of a modified version of the Langelier Saturation Index (LSIsn) and a geologic contact dataset in a Geographic Information System. Water-chemistry information for water samples collected from 4,839 combined private and public-supply wells from 1900 to 1993 was used to calculate the LSIsn. Thirty-eight lithologic subgroups within four major rock types-carbonate, siliciclastic, crystalline, and unconsolidated-in Pennsylvania were grouped together if the mean of ranked LSIsn values were not significantly different. A water is considered corrosive if the LSIsn value is negative, preventing the precipitation of calcium carbonate, therefore, allowing corrosive reactions with the interior of piping systems. Statistical tests of the LSIsn values show the least corrosive waters are in the carbonate lithologic subgroup, and the most corrosive waters are in the quartzite lithologic subgroup. Approximately 58 percent of the 4,839 LSIsn values were considered moderately to extremely corrosive. A map showing the location of 4,839 wells and associated corrosivity range within 11 lithologic subgroups will aid in identifying potential areas of corrosive ground water in Pennsylvania.
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USGS Numbered Series
Assessment of severity and distribution of corrosive ground water in Pennsylvania