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Geohydrology and distribution of volatile organic compounds in ground water in the Casey Village area, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Water-Resources Investigations Report 98-4010

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Abstract

Casey Village and the adjoining part of the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) are underlain by the Late Triassic-age Stockton Formation, which consists of a dipping series of siltstones and sandstones. The direction of vertical ground-water gradients in the Stockton Formation varies among well locations and sometimes with time. Vertical gradients can be substantial; the difference in water levels at one well pair (two wells screened at different depths) was 7.1 ft (feet) over a 32-ft vertical section of the aquifer. Potentiometric-surface maps show a groundwater divide that bisects the Casey Village area. For wells screened between 18 and 64 ft below land surface (bls), the general ground-water gradient is to the east and northeast on the east side of the divide and to the south and southwest on the west side of the divide. For wells screened between 48 and 106 ft bls, the general ground-water gradient is to the northeast on the east side of the divide and to the southwest and northwest on the west side of the divide. An aquifer test at one well in Casey Village caused drawdown in wells on the opposite side of the ground-water divide on the NAWC and shifted the ground-water divide in the deeper potentiometric surface to the west. Drawdowns formed an elliptical pattern, which indicates anisotropy; however, anisotropy is not aligned with strike or dip. Hydraulic stress caused by pumping crosses stratigraphic boundaries. Between 1993 and 1996, the trichloroethylene (TCE) concentration in water samples collected from wells in Casey Village decreased. The highest concentration of TCE measured in water from one well decreased from 1,200 mg/L (micrograms per liter) in 1993 when domestic wells were pumped in Casey Village to 140 mg/L in 1996, 3 years after the installation of public water and the cessation of domestic pumping. This suggests that pumping of domestic wells may have contributed to TCE migration. Between 1993 and 1996, the tetrachloroethylene (PCE) concentration in water samples collected from wells in Casey Village decreased only slightly. The highest concentration of PCE measured in water from one well decreased from 720 mg/L in 1993 to 630 mg/L in 1996. The distribution of TCE and PCE in ground water indicates the presence of separate PCE and TCE plumes, each with a different source area. The TCE plume appears to be moving in two directions away from the ground-water divide area. The pumping of a domestic well may have caused TCE migration into the ground-water divide area. From the divide area, the TCE plume appears to be moving both to the east and the west under the natural hydraulic gradient. Aquifer-isolation tests conducted in the well with the highest TCE concentrations showed that concentrations of TCE in water samples from the isolated intervals were similar but slightly lower in the deeper isolated zones than in the shallower isolated zones. Upward flow was measured in this well during geophysical logging. If the source of TCE to the well was from shallow fractures, upward flow of less contaminated water could be flushing TCE from the immediate vicinity of this well. This may help explain why the concentration of TCE in water from this well decreased an order of magnitude between 1993 and 1996.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Geohydrology and distribution of volatile organic compounds in ground water in the Casey Village area, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
98-4010
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1998
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Branch of Information Services [distributor],
Description:
vii, 81 p. :ill. (some col.), col. maps ;28 cm.