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Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in ground water from three selected areas in Kansas

Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-11

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Abstract

Nitrate-nitrogen data collected during 1976-79 from 333 wells in Kansas were summerized and statistically analyzed on the basis of area, aquifer, and well depth. Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations exceeding the 10 milligrams per liter miximum allowable concentration in public-water supplies were observed in 4% of the wells analyzed in western Kansas, 16% in central Kansas, and 29% in eastern Kansas. Concentrations exceeding 10 milligrams per liter generally occurred in wells less than 100-feet deep. Data indicate that nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in ground water greater than 10 milligrams per liter generally are derived from nitrogen sources at or near the land surface, although some soluble nitrogen may be derived from fine-grained sediments in some aquifers. Water from shales in central and eastern Kansas and limestones in eastern Kansas exhibited highest median concentrations and the highest incidence of concentrations greater than 10 milligrams per liter. Water from 10% of the wells in unconsolidated Quaternary deposits in western Kansas and almost 30% of the wells in eastern Kansas had nitrate-nitrogen concentrations that exceeded 10 milligrams per liter. Shallow wells in shales, limestones, and uncolsolidated Quaternary deposits are highly susceptible to nitrate contamination. Wells in unconsolidated Tertiary deposits produced water with a low incidence of concentrations greater than 10 milligrams per liter, indicating minimal contamination from sources at or near the land surface. Water from sandstone in all areas had the lowest median nitrate-nitrogen concentrations and the lowest incidence of concentrations greater than 10 milligrams per liter. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in ground water from three selected areas in Kansas
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
82-11
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1982
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
Description:
32 p. :ill., maps ;26 cm.