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Hydrogeology and ground-water quality of Valley Forge National Historical Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4120

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Abstract

Valley Forge National Historical Park is just southwest of the Commodore Semiconductor Group (CSG) National Priorities List (Superfund) Site, a source of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) in ground water. The 7.5-square-mile study area includes the part of the park in Lower Providence and West Norriton Townships in Montgomery County, Pa., and surrounding vicinity. The park is underlain by sedimentary rocks of the Upper Triassic age stockton Formation. A potentiometric-surface map constructed from water levels measured in 59 wells shows a cone of depression, approximately 0.5 mile in diameter, centered near the CSG Site. The cone of depression is caused by the pumping of six public supply wells. A ground-water divide between the cone of depression and Valley Forge National Historical Park provides a hydraulic barrier to the flow of ground water and contaminants from the CSG Site to the park. If pumping in the cone of depression was to cease, water levels would recover, and the ground-water divide would shift to the north. A hydraulic gradient between the CSG Site and the Schuylkill River would be established, causing contaminated ground water to flow to the park. Water samples were collected from 12 wells within the park boundary and 9 wells between the park boundary and the ground-water divide to the north of the park. All water samples were analyzed for physical properties (field determinations), nutrients, common ions, metals and other trace constituents, and VOC's. Water samples from the 12 wells inside the park boundary also were analyzed for pesticides. Concentrations of inorganic constituents in the water samples did not exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant levels. Very low concentrations of organic compounds were detected in some of the water samples. VOC's were detected in water from 76 percent of the wells sampled; the maximum concentration detected was 5.8 micrograms per liter of chloroform. The most commonly detected VOC was chloroform. The second most commonly detected compound was methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), which was detected in water from 24 percent of wells sampled. Several pesticides were detected in water samples collected from within the park boundaries.: chlordane, DDD, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor epoxide, and simazine. Concentrations of the detected pesticides were 0.1 micrograms per liter or less and did not exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant levels.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrogeology and ground-water quality of Valley Forge National Historical Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
96-4120
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1996
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Branch of Information Services [distributor],
Description:
v, 25 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm. [PGS - 35 p.]