This national assessment of 55 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ground water gives emphasis to the occurrence of VOCs in aquifers that are used as an important
supply of drinking water. In contrast to the monitoring of VOC contamination of ground water at point-source release sites, such as landfills and leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs), our investigations of aquifers are designed as large-scale resource assessments that provide a general characterization of water-quality conditions. Nearly all of the aquifers included in this assessment have been identified as regionally extensive aquifers or aquifer systems. The assessment of ground water (Chapter 3) included analyses of about 3,500 water samples collected during 1985-2001 from various types of wells, representing
almost 100 different aquifer studies. This is the first national assessment of the occurrence of a large number of VOCs with different uses, and the assessment addresses key questions about VOCs in aquifers. The assessment also provides a foundation for subsequent decadal assessments of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program to ascertain long-term trends of VOC occurrence in these aquifers.