Water-quality data for the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system in the northern coast plain of New Jersey, 1923-86

Prepared by the United States Geological Survey in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Water Resources
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Abstract

Ground-water-quality data for the upper and middle aquifers of the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties are compiled for the period 1923-86. A total of 330 wells were sampled: 192 wells in the upper aquifer and 138 wells in the middle aquifer. Most of the complete water-quality analyses were collected after September 1984, as part of a regional ground-water assessment. Well-construction data for the sampled wells also are presented. Public-supply, domestic-supply, industrial, commercial, irrigation, and observation wells were sampled for the study. Field measurements made at the time of sample collection include water temperature, specific conductance , dissolved oxygen, pH, alkalinity, and bicarbonate concentration. Laboratory determinations include common ions, silica, dissolved solids, trace metals, volatile organic compounds, and pesticides. A quality-assurance program was followed to evaluate and assure the quality of the data.

The report also contains a table of lithologic and hydrologic characteristics of the geologic units in the study area, a table of chloride concentrations and field measurements from 1923-86, and statistical summaries of selected water-quality data for the upper and middle aquifers. Many constituents were found in a wide range of concentrations.

Water from more than 25 percent of the wells sampled contained lead concentrations above the detection limit of 10 ug/L (micrograms per liter). Included in this number are some wells that had lead concentrations greater than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) primary drinking-water regulation of 50 ug/L. Cadmium concentrations, although lower than lead concentrations, followed a similar pattern. Water from approximately 25 percent of the wells in the upper aquifer, contain cadmium concentrations equal to or greater than the detection limit of 1 ug/L.

Dissolved iron concentrations ranged from 5 ug/L to 480,000 ug/L. Water from more than 50 percent of the wells sampled contained iron concentrations in excess of the USEPA secondary drinking-water recommended limit of 300 ug/L.

Chloride concentrations greater than the USEPA secondary drinking-water recommended limit of 250 milligrams per liter were found in samples from wells located in the cities of Perth Amboy and South Amboy; in the boroughs of Keansburg, Sayreville, Keyport, and Union Beach; and in the townships of Old Bridge and Woodbridge.

Of 21 samples collected from wells screened in the upper aquifer and analyzed for 30 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 5 samples contained at least 1 VOC at or above the detection limit. In the middle aquifer, 12 of the 21 samples collected and analyzed for VOCs contained at least 1 VOC greater than the detection limit.

Concentrations of pesticides generally were low. Of the 43 samples collected from wells screened in the upper aquifer and analyzed for pesticides, 4 samples contained concentrations of pesticides at or greater than the detection limit. In the middle aquifer, 6 of 38 samples collected and analyzed for 32 pesticides had at least 1 pesticide with a concentration greater than the detection limit.

 

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Publication type Report
Publication Subtype State or Local Government Series
Title Water-quality data for the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system in the northern coast plain of New Jersey, 1923-86
Series number 19
Year Published 1989
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description Report: iv, 94 p.; 2 Plates: 23.97 x 22.00 inches, 23.70 x 21.93 inches
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Middlesex County, Monmouth County
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
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