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The relation of ground-water quality to housing density, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Water-Resources Investigations Report 86-4093

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Abstract

Correlation of median nitrate concentration in groundwater with housing density for 18 sample areas on Cape Cod yields a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.802, which is significant at the 95 % confidence level. In five of nine sample areas where housing density is greater than one unit/acre, nitrate concentrations exceed 5 mg of nitrate/L (the Barnstable County planning goal for nitrate) in 25% of wells. Nitrate concentrations exceed 5 mg of nitrogen/L in 25% of wells in only one of nine sample areas where housing density is less than one unit/acre. Median concentrations of sodium and iron, and median levels of pH and specific conductance, are not significantly correlated with housing density. A computer generated map of nitrate shows a positive relation between nitrate concentration and housing density on Cape Cod. However, the presence of septage- or sewage-disposal sites and fertilizer use are also important factors that affect the nitrate concentration. A map of specific conductance also shows a positive relation to housing density, but little or no relation between housing density and sodium, ammonia, pH, or iron is apparent on the maps. Chemical analyses of samples collected from 3,468 private- and public-supply wells between January 1980 and June 1984 were used to examine the extent to which housing density determines water quality on Cape Cod, an area largely unsewered and underlain by a sole source aquifer. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
The relation of ground-water quality to housing density, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
86-4093
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1986
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 28 p. :ill., col. maps ;28 cm.