Hydrogeology and quality of ground water on Guemes Island, Skagit County, Washington

Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4236




Guemes Island, located in Puget Sound of Washington State, is experiencing population growth and seawater intrusion. The island consists of Pleistocene glacial deposits overlying bedrock. Geologic sections and a map of surficial geology were constructed and used to delineate six hydrogeologic units, three of which are aquifers. The most productive aquifer is the Double Bluff aquifer, situated at or below sea level. Water budget estimates indicate that of the 21-29 inches of precipitation received in a typical year, 0-4 inches runs off, 12-22 inches evapotranspires, and 2-10 inches recharges the ground-water system. Of the water recharged, 0.1-0.3 inches is withdrawn by wells; the remainder recharges deeper aquifer(s) or discharges from the ground-water system to drainage ditches or the sea. The median dissolved-solids concentration was 236 mg/L (milligrams per liter). Half of the samples were classified as moderately hard, the remainder as hard or very hard. Although magnesium-calcium/bicarbonate water types dominate, some samples contained large amounts of sodium and chloride. The median concentration of 0.08 mg/L for nitrate indicates that no widespread contamination from septic systems or livestock exists. Small concentrations of arsenic were present in 5 of 24 samples. Trace concentrations of volatile organic compounds were detected in three of five samples. None of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant levels was exceeded. However, secondary maximum contaminant levels were exceeded for dissolved solids, chloride, manganese, and iron. Seasonal variability of chloride concentration was apparent in water from coastal wells that had chloride concentrations greater than 100 mg/L. Higher values occurred from April through September because of increased pumping and lower recharge.

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USGS Numbered Series
Hydrogeology and quality of ground water on Guemes Island, Skagit County, Washington
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey ; Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
vi, 83 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.