Surface-Water and Ground-Water Resources of Kendall County, Illinois

Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5122

In cooperation with the Kendall County Soil and Water Conservation District
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Water-supply needs in Kendall County, in northern Illinois, are met exclusively from ground water derived from glacial drift aquifers and bedrock aquifers open to Silurian, Ordovician, and Cambrian System units. As a result of population growth in Kendall County and the surrounding area, water use has increased from about 1.2 million gallons per day in 1957 to more than 5 million gallons per day in 2000. The purpose of this report is to characterize the surface-water and ground-water resources of Kendall County. The report presents a compilation of available information on geology, surface-water and ground-water hydrology, water quality, and water use. The Fox River is the primary surface-water body in Kendall County and is used for both wastewater disposal and as a drinking-water supply upstream of the county. Water from the Fox River requires pretreatment for use as drinking water, but the river is a potentially viable additional source of water for the county. Glacial drift aquifers capable of yielding sufficient water for municipal supply are expected to be present in northern Kendall County, along the Fox River, and in the Newark Valley and its tributaries. Glacial drift aquifers capable of yielding sufficient water for residential supply are present in most of the county, with the exception of the southeastern portion. Volatile organic compounds and select trace metals and pesticides have been detected at low concentrations in glacial drift aquifers near waste-disposal sites. Agricultural-related constituents have been detected infrequently in glacial drift aquifers near agricultural areas. However, on the basis of the available data, widespread, consistent problems with water quality are not apparent in these aquifers. These aquifers are a viable source for additional water supply, but would require further characterization prior to full development. The shallow bedrock aquifer is composed of the sandstone units of the Ancell Group, the Prairie du Chien Group, the Galena-Platteville dolomite, the Maquoketa Group, and the Silurian dolomite where these units are at the bedrock surface. The availability of water from the shallow bedrock aquifer depends primarily on the geologic unit utilized. The Silurian dolomite, Galena-Platteville dolomite, and Ancell Group can yield sufficient water for residential and municipal supply in at least some parts of the county. The Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer system is composed of the most widespread, productive aquifers in northern Illinois and is used for water supply by a number of municipalities and industrial facilities. Water levels in the aquifer system have declined by as much as 600 feet in Kendall County and the aquifer frequently contains concentrations of radium above established health guidelines.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Surface-Water and Ground-Water Resources of Kendall County, Illinois
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
Illinois Water Science Center
viii, 92 p.