Depth-dependent sampling to identify short-circuit pathways to public-supply wells in multiple aquifer settings in the United States

Hydrogeology Journal
By: , and 

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Abstract

Depth-dependent water-quality and borehole flow data were used to determine where and how contamination enters public-supply wells (PSWs) at study sites in different principal aquifers of the United States. At each of three study sites, depth-dependent samples and wellbore flow data were collected from multiple depths in selected PSWs under pumping conditions. The chemistry of these depth-dependent samples, along with samples of the surface discharge from the PSWs, was compared to that of adjacent nested monitoring wells. The results of depth-dependent analyses from sites in Modesto (California), York (Nebraska), and Tampa (Florida) are summarized and compared. Although the exact mechanisms for transport of contaminants to the PSWs varied among these hydrogeologic settings, in all three settings the presence of wells or boreholes or natural preferential flow paths allowed water and contaminants to bypass substantial portions of the aquifer and to reach PSWs or depths in the aquifer more quickly than would have occurred in the absence of these short-circuiting flow paths. The chemistry and flow data from multiple depths was essential to developing an understanding of the dominant flow paths of contaminants to PSW in all three settings. This knowledge contributes to developing effective strategies for monitoring and protection.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Depth-dependent sampling to identify short-circuit pathways to public-supply wells in multiple aquifer settings in the United States
Series title Hydrogeology Journal
DOI 10.1007/s10040-009-0531-2
Volume 18
Issue 3
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 17 p.
First page 577
Last page 593