Hydrogeology, chemical quality, and availability of ground water in the Upper Floridan aquifer, Albany area, Georgia

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4145

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Large withdrawals of groundwater in the 1500 sq mi Albany area of southwestern Georgia have lowered water levels in deep aquifers as much as 140 ft. This study was conducted to evaluate the development potential of the shallow Upper Floridan aquifer as an alternate source of groundwater, especially for public supply. The Upper Floridan stores and transmits large quantities of water, mainly in a zone of high permeability in the lower part of the aquifer. The transmissivity of the aquifer ranges from < 10,000 sq ft/day northwest of Albany, to as much as 150 ,000 sq ft/day south and southeast of Albany. Twenty-eight years of agricultural and industrial pumping has not produced a long-term decline of the water level in the Upper Floridan; the aquifer system remains at equilibrium. The Upper Floridan yields hard, calcium bicarbonate-type water but concentrations do not exceed State drinking water standards. In most of the study area , contaminants applied to or spilled on the land surface eventually can be expected to percolate through the overburden and reach the aquifer. Thus, it is important that wells be sited away from areas that have been used for the storage and disposal of potential contaminants and, probably to a lesser extent, the application of agricultural chemicals. In the area of greatest development potential east of the Flint River, wells may penetrate major groundwater conduits. By limiting drawdown during well development and during production, the likelihood of causing sinkholes to form can be minimized. Closed depressions, or sinks, throughout the Dougherty Plain probably are unsuitable as well sites, because (1) they are subject to flooding, (2) they collect water from upgradient areas and could concentrate potential contaminants, (3) water probably percolates through their bottoms and could transport contaminants into the aquifer, and (4) the depressions may overlie limestone cavities filled with sand or clay that could interfere with well yield, development, and production. (Author 's abstract)

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USGS Numbered Series
Hydrogeology, chemical quality, and availability of ground water in the Upper Floridan aquifer, Albany area, Georgia
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
vi, 52 p. :ill., 3 plates; maps; 28 cm.