The National Water-Quality Assessment Program of the U.S. Geological Survey began implementing Source Water-Quality Assessments (SWQAs) in 2001 that focus on characterizing the quality of source water and finished water of aquifers and major rivers used by some of the larger community water systems (CWSs) in the United States. As used for SWQA studies, source water is the raw (ambient) water collected at the supply well prior to water treatment (for ground water) or the raw (ambient) water collected from the river near the intake (for surface water), and finished water is the water that is treated and ready to be delivered to consumers. Finished water is collected before entering the distribution system.
SWQA studies are conducted in two phases, and the objectives of SWQA studies are twofold: (1) to determine the occurrence and, for rivers, seasonal changes in concentrations of a broad list of anthropogenic organic compounds (AOCs) in aquifers and rivers that have some of the largest withdrawals for drinking-water supply (phase 1), and (2) for those AOCs found to occur most frequently in source water, characterize the extent to which these compounds are present in finished water (phase 2). These objectives were met for SWQA studies by collecting ground-water and surface-water (source) samples and analyzing these samples for 258 AOCs during phase 1. Samples from a subset of wells and surface-water sites located in areas with substantial agricultural production in the watershed were analyzed for 19 additional AOCs, for a total of 277 compounds analyzed for SWQA studies. The 277 compounds were classified according to the following 13 primary use or source groups: (1) disinfection by-products; (2) fumigant-related compounds; (3) fungicides; (4) gasoline hydrocarbons, oxygenates, and oxygenate degradates; (5) herbicides and herbicide degradates; (6) insecticides and insecticide degradates; (7) manufacturing additives; (8) organic synthesis compounds; (9) pavement- and combustion-derived compounds; (10) personal care and domestic use products; (11) plant- or animal-derived biochemicals; (12) refrigerants and propellants; and (13) solvents. Source and finished water samples were collected during phase 2 and analyzed for constituents that were detected frequently during phase 1.
This report presents concentration data for AOCs in ground water, surface water, and finished water of CWSs sampled for SWQA studies during 2002-05. Specifically, this report presents the analytical results of samples collected during phase 1 including (1) samples from 221 wells that were analyzed for 258 AOCs; (2) monthly samples from 9 surface-water sites that were analyzed for 258 AOCs during phase 1; and (3) samples from a subset of the wells and surface-water sites located in areas with substantial agricultural production that were analyzed for 3 additional pesticides and 16 pesticide degradates. Samples collected during phase 2 were analyzed for selected AOCs that were detected most frequently in source water during phase 1 sampling; analytical results for phase 2 are presented for (1) samples of source water and finished water from 94 wells; and (2) samples of source water and finished water samples that were collected monthly and during selected flow conditions at 8 surface-water sites. Results of quality-assurance/quality-control samples collected for SWQA studies during 2002-05 also are presented.