Water samples collected from 50 wells in Berkeley County, West Virginia, during June 2000 were analyzed for indicator bacteria. Of the 50 wells sampled, 62 percent (31 wells) contained total coliform bacteria, 32 percent (16 wells) contained Escherichia coli, and 30 percent (15 wells) contained fecal coliform bacteria. Although bacteria were present in many wells regardless of the number of septic systems in a 5-acre circular area around each well, no apparent correlation was detected between septic-system density and concentrations of bacteria colonies. There was also little difference in the frequency of total coliform bacteria detection between shallow and deep wells; however, the highest concentrations of E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria were found in the shallowest wells. At least one of the three bacteria types was found in samples of untreated water in 32 of the 50 wells. At 21 of the 32 wells with bacteria present, there was no treatment of the ground water to remove bacteria.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Relation of bacteria in limestone aquifers to septic systems in Berkeley County, West Virginia
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
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