Because of concerns over ground-water quality, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has implemented the Ground-Water Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. A primary objective of the program is to provide a current assessment of ground-water quality in areas where public supply wells are an important source of drinking water. The San Diego GAMA study unit was the first region of the state where an assessment of ground-water quality was implemented under the GAMA program. The San Diego GAMA study unit covers the entire San Diego Drainages hydrogeologic province, and is broken down into four distinct hydrogeologic study areas: the Temecula Valley study area, the Warner Valley study area, the Alluvial Basins study area, and the Hard Rock study area.
A total of 58 ground-water samples were collected from public supply wells in the San Diego GAMA study unit: 19 wells were sampled in the Temecula Valley study area, 9 in the Warner Valley study area, 17 in the Alluvial Basins study area, and 13 in the Hard Rock study area. Over 350 chemical and microbial constituents and water-quality indicators were analyzed for in this study. However, only select wells were measured for all constituents and water-quality indicators. Results of analyses were calculated as detection frequencies by constituent classification and by individual constituents for the entire San Diego GAMA study unit and for the individual study areas. Additionally, concentrations of constituents that are routinely monitored were compared to maximum contaminant levels (MCL) and secondary maximum contaminant levels (SMCL). Concentrations of constituents classified as 'unregulated chemicals for which monitoring is required' (UCMR) were compared to the 'detection level for the purposes of reporting' (DLR).
Eighteen of the 88 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and gasoline oxygenates analyzed for were detected in ground-water samples. Twenty-eight wells sampled in the San Diego GAMA study had at least a single detection of VOCs or gasoline oxygenates. These constituents were most frequently detected in the Alluvial Basin study area (11 of 17 wells), and least frequently detected in the Warner Valley study area (one of nine wells). Trihalomethanes (THMs) were the most frequently detected class of VOCs (18 of 58 wells). The most frequently detected VOCs were chloroform (18 of 58 wells), bromodichloromethane (8 of 58 wells), and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) (7 of 58 wells). Three VOCs were detected at concentrations greater than their MCLs. Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) were detected in one well in the Hard Rock study area at concentrations of 9.75 and 7.27 micrograms per liter (?g/L), respectively; the MCL for these compounds is 5 ?g/L. MTBE was detected in one well in the Alluvial Basins study area at a concentration of 28.3 ?g/L; the MCL for MTBE is 13 ?g/L.
Twenty-one of the 122 pesticides and pesticide degradates analyzed for were detected in ground-water samples. Pesticide or pesticide degradates were detected in 33 of 58 wells sampled, and were most frequently detected in the Temecula Valley study area wells (9 of 14 wells), and least frequently in the Warner Valley study area wells (3 of 9 wells). Herbicides were the most frequently detected class of pesticides (31 of 58 wells), and simazine was the most frequently detected compound (27 of 58 wells), followed by deethylatrazine (14 of 58 wells), prometon (10 of 58 wells), and atrazine (9 of 58 wells). None of the pesticides detected in ground-water samples had concentrations that exceeded MCLs.
Eight waste-water indicator compounds were detected in ground-water samples. Twenty-one of 47 wells sampled for waste-water indicator compounds had at least a single detection. Waste-water indicator compounds were detected most frequently in the Allu
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
California GAMA program: ground-water quality data in the San Diego drainages hydrogeologic province, California, 2004