Hydrologic effects of artificial-recharge experiments with reclaimed water at East Meadow, Long Island, New York

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4323

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Artificial recharge experiments were conducted at East Meadow, Long Island, New York, from October 1982 through January 1984 to evaluate the degree of groundwater mounding and the chemical effects of artificially replenishing the groundwater system with tertiary-treated wastewater. More than 800 million gallons of treated effluent was returned to the upper glacial aquifer through recharge basins and injection wells in the 15-month period. Reclaimed water was provided by the Cedar Creek advanced wastewater treatment facility in Wantagh, 6 miles away. The chlorinated effluent was pumped to the recharge facility, where it was fed to basins by gravity flow and to injection wells by pumps. Observations during the recharge tests indicate that the two most significant factors in limiting the rate of infiltration through the basin floor were the recharge test duration and quality of reclaimed water. Head buildup in the aquifer beneath the basins ranged from 4.3 to 6.7 ft, depending on the quantity and duration of water application. Head buildup near the injection wells within the aquifer ranged from 0.3 to 1.2 ft. Recharge basins provided a more effective means of moving large quantities of reclaimed water into the aquifer than injection wells. Results of 3-day and 176-day ponding tests in two basins indicate that reclaimed water is relatively unchanged chemically by percolation through the unsaturated zone because: (1) the sand and gravel of the upper glacial aquifer is unreactive, (2) the water moves to the water table rapidly, and (3) the water is highly treated before recharge. The quality of water in the aquifer zones affected by recharge improved, on the whole. Groundwater concentrations of nitrate nitrogen and several low molecular weight hydrocarbons, decreased to well within drinking water standards as a direct result of recharge. Sodium and chloride concentrations increased above background levels as a result of recharge but remained well within drinking water standards and the New York State effluent standards established for this groundwater recharge study. (Lantz-PTT)

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Hydrologic effects of artificial-recharge experiments with reclaimed water at East Meadow, Long Island, New York
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
vii, 79 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.