Ground-water quality is generally good in three urban areas studied in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States?Ocala and Tampa, Florida, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. The hydrology of these areas differs in that Ocala has many karst depressions but virtually no surface-water features, and Tampa and Virginia Beach have numerous surface-water features, including small lakes, streams, and swamps. Samples were collected in early 1995 from 15 wells in Ocala (8 in the surficial aquifer and 7 in the Upper Floridan aquifer), 17 wells in Tamps (8 in the surficial aquifer and 9 in the Upper Floridan aquifer), and in the summer of 1995 from 15 wells in Virginia Beach (all in the surficial aquifer).
In the surficial aquifer in Ocala, the major ion water type was calcium bicarbonate in five samples and mixed (no dominant ions) in three samples, with dissolved-solids concentrations ranging from 78 to 463 milligrams per liter. In Tampa, the water type was calcium bicarbonate in one sample and mixed in seven samples, with dissolved-solids concentrations ranging from 38 to 397 milligrams per liter. In Virginia Beach, water types were primarily calcium and sodium bicarbonate water, with dissolved-solids concentrations ranging from 89 to 740 milligrams per liter. The water types and dissolved-solids concentrations reflect the presence of carbonates in the surficial aquifer materials in the Ocala and Virginia Beach areas. The major ion water type was calcium bicarbonate for all 16 samples from the upper Floridan aquifer in both Florida cities. Dissolved-solids concentrations ranged from 210 to 551 milligrams per liter in Ocala, with a median of 287 milligrams per liter, and from 187 to 362 milligrams per liter in Tampa, with a median of 244 milligrams per liter.
Concentrations of nitrate nitrogen were highest in the surficial aquifer in Ocala, and one sample exceeded 10 milligrams per liter, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant level for drinking water. Median nitrate concentrations were 1.2 milligrams per liter in Ocala and only 0.06 and 0.05 milligram per liter in Tampa and Virginia Beach, respectively. In Florida, some background water-quality data were available for comparison. The median nitrate concentration in Ocala was much higher than the median nitrate concentration of 0.05 milligram per liter in the background data. Median nitrate concentrations were 0.33 and 0.05 milligram per liter in samples from the Upper Floridan aquifer in Ocala and Tampa, respectively, and 0.05 milligram per liter in background samples.
Of the 47 pesticides and 60 volatile organic compounds analyzed, only five pesticides and five volatile organic compounds were detected. The most commonly detected pesticide was prometon, a broad-scale herbicide, detected in samples from eight wells in Ocala (at concentrations ranging from 0.009 to 1.8 micrograms per liter), three wells in Virginia Beach (at concentrations ranging from 0.19 to 10 micrograms per liter), and from one well in Tampa (0.01 microgram per liter). The most commonly detected volatile organic compound was chloroform, which was detected four times at concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 2.2 micrograms per liter in Ocala and Tampa. Seven volatile organic compounds were detected in one sample in Virginia Beach; most were compounds associated with petroleum and coal tar.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water quality in three urban areas in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, 1995
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],