Geohydrology and ground-water quality at selected sites in Meade County, Kentucky, 1987-88

Water-Resources Investigations Report 89-4108

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Meade County in north-central Kentucky is about 305 sq mi in size, and is underlain by thick beds of limestone and dolomite which are the principal sources of drinking water for about 8 ,500 residents. About half the area contains mature, karst terrain with abundant sinkholes, springs, and caves. Because of this karst terrain, groundwater is susceptible to rapid changes in water quality and contamination from human sources. Thirty-seven wells and 12 springs were selected as sampling points to characterize groundwater quality in the area. Water was analyzed for major anions and cations, nitrates, trace elements, and organic compounds. Water from selected sites was also analyzed for fecal species of coliform streptococci bacteria and total coliform content. Except for fluoride and lead, the water quality was within the range expected for carbonate aquifers.The fluoride content was significantly higher in water from wells than in water from springs. Concentrations of detectable lead ranged from 10 to 50 micrograms/L and had a median value of 7.5 microg/L. Dissolved solids ranged from 100 to 2,200 mg/L and the median value was 512 mg/L. Hardness ranged from 20 to 1,100 mg/L and the median value was 290 mg/L. Organic compounds detected by the gas chromatographic/flame ionization detection scans, did not indicate evidence of concentrations in excess of the current Federal drinking water standards. Analysis for specific organic compounds indicated that the presence of these compounds was associated with agricultural chemicals, usually pesticides. Total coliform content exceeded drinking water standards in water from all 12 springs and in 18 wells. Statistical analysis of the groundwater quality data indicates that the variance of the concentrations of fluoride and chloride may be attributed to the site type. There was strong correlation between hardness and dissolved solids, hardness and sulfate, and sulfate and dissolved solids. No apparent relations were detected between water quality and the geographic location of sampling sites. However, seasonal variations were detected in the concentrations of dissolved solids, hardness, and iron. (Lantz-PTT)

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USGS Numbered Series
Geohydrology and ground-water quality at selected sites in Meade County, Kentucky, 1987-88
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; Books and Open-File Reports [distributor],
vi, 67 p. :ill. ;28 cm.