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Assessment of ground-water contamination in the alluvial aquifer near West Point, Kentucky

Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4166

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Abstract

Well inventories, water level measurements, groundwater quality samples, surface geophysical techniques (specifically, electromagnetic techniques), and test drilling were used to investigate the extent and sources of groundwater contamination in the alluvial aquifer near West Point, Kentucky. This aquifer serves as the principal source of drinking water for over 50,000 people. Groundwater flow in the alluvial aquifer is generally unconfined and moves in a northerly direction toward the Ohio River. Two large public supply well fields and numerous domestic wells are located in this natural flow path. High concentrations of chloride in groundwater have resulted in the abandonment of several public supply wells in the West Point areas. Chloride concentrations in water samples collected for this study were as high as 11,000 mg/L. Electromagnetic techniques indicated and test drilling later confirmed that the source of chloride in well waters was probably improperly plugged or unplugged, abandoned oil and gas exploration wells. The potential for chloride contamination of wells exists in the study area and is related to proximity to improperly abandoned oil and gas exploration wells and to gradients established by drawdowns associated with pumped wells. Periodic use of surface geophysical methods, in combination with added observation wells , could be used to monitor significant changes in groundwater quality related to chloride contamination. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Assessment of ground-water contamination in the alluvial aquifer near West Point, Kentucky
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
88-4166
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1988
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 25 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.