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Quality of water from freshwater aquifers and principal well fields in the Memphis Area, Tennessee

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4052

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Abstract

Water from the freshwater aquifers in the Memphis area is suitable for most uses. Freshwater aquifers are the alluvium and fluvial (terrace) deposits of Quaternary age, the Memphis Sand and Fort Pillow Sand of Tertiary age, and the Ripley Formation and McNairy Sand of Cretaceous age. About 180 million gallons/day (mgd) of freshwater are withdrawn from the Memphis Sand, primarily for municipal and industrial use; the Memphis Sand is the principal aquifer supplying the City of Memphis. The alluvium provides water for irrigation and some industrial uses, and the fluvial deposits provide water for domestic use in rural areas. The Fort Pillow Sand supplies water for some municipal and industrial uses. The Ripley-McNairy aquifer is not used as a source of water. Water from the alluvium, fluvial deposits, and Memphis Sand is a calcium bicarbonate type, and water from the Fort Pillow Sand and Ripley-McNairy aquifer is a sodium bicarbonate type. Dissolved solids concentrations are low in the Memphis Sand, with a median value of 83 mg/L, and are high in the Ripley-McNairy aquifer with a value of about 1,000 mg/L. Water is very soft in the Fort Pillow Sand with a median hardness value of 9 mg/L as CaCO3 and is very hard in the alluvium with a median value of 285 mg/L. Iron concentrations are low in the fluvial deposits with a median value of 50 micrograms/L and are high in the alluvium with a median value of 5,200 micrograms/L. Temperature of the water generally increases with depth, ranging from 16.0 C in the alluvium and fluvial deposits to about 32.0 C in the Ripley-McNairy aquifer. Water from the Memphis Sand at Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division well fields has very low mineralization. Median values are 79 mg/L dissolved solids concentrations, 56 mg/L alkalinity as CaCO3, 46 mg/L hardness as CaCO3, 4 mg/L chloride, 3.5 mg/L sulfate, and 600 micrograms/L iron. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Quality of water from freshwater aquifers and principal well fields in the Memphis Area, Tennessee
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
87-4052
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1987
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
iv, 22 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.