Local point sources that affect ground-water quality in the East Meadow area, Long Island, New York

Water-Resources Investigations Report 92-4038




The extent and chemical characteristics of ground water affected by three local point sources--a stormwater basin, uncovered road-salt-storage piles, and an abandoned sewage-treatment plant--were delineated during a 3-year study of the chemical characteristics and migration of a body of reclaimed wastewater that was applied to the watertable aquifer during recharge experiments from October 1982 through January 1984 in East Meadow. The timing, magnitude, and chemical quality of recharge from these point sources is highly variable, and all sources have the potential to skew determinations of the quality of ambient ground-water and of the reclaimed-wastewater plume if they are not taken into account. Ground water affected by recharge from the stormwater basin is characterized by low concentrations of nitrate + nitrite (less than 5 mg/L [milligrams per liter] as N) and sulfate (less than 40 mg/L) and is almost entirely within the upper glacial aquifer. The plume derived from road-salt piles is narrow, has high concentrations of chloride (greater than 50 mg/L) and sodium (greater than 75 mg/L), and also is limited to the upper glacial aquifer. The sodium, in high concentrations, could react with aquifer material and exchange for sorbed cations such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Water affected by secondary-treated sewage from the abandoned treatment plant extends 152 feet below land surface into the upper part of the Magothy aquifer and longitudinally beyond the southern edge of the study area, 7,750 feet south of the recharge site. Ground water affected by secondary-treated sewage within the study area typically contains elevated concentrations of reactive chemical constituents, such as potassium and ammonium, and low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. Conservative or minimally reactive constituents such as chloride and sodium have been transported out of the study area in the upper glacial aquifer and the intermediate (transitional) zone but remain in the less permeable upper part of the Magothy aquifer. Identification of the three point sources and delineation of their areas of influence improved definition of ambient ground-water quality and delineation of the reclaimed-wastewater plume.

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USGS Numbered Series
Local point sources that affect ground-water quality in the East Meadow area, Long Island, New York
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey ; Books and Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
v, 28 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.