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 in the United States. As used in SWQA studies, source water is the raw (ambient) water collected at the supply well before water treatment (for groundwater) or the raw (ambient) water collected from the river near the intake (for surface water), and finished water is the water that has been treated and is ready to be delivered to consumers. Finished-water samples are collected before the water enters the distribution system.
The primary objective of SWQAs is to determine the occurrence of more than 250 anthropogenic organic compounds in source water used by community water systems, many of which currently are unregulated in drinking water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A secondary objective is to understand recurrence patterns in source water and determine if these patterns also occur in finished water before distribution. SWQA studies were conducted in two phases for most studies completed by 2005, and in one phase for most studies completed since 2005.
Analytical results are reported for a total of 295 different anthropogenic organic compounds monitored in source-water and finished-water samples collected during 2002-10. The 295 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.
This report presents the analytical results of source- water samples from 448 community water system wells and 21 surface-water sites. This report also presents the analytical results of finished-water samples from 285 wells and 20 surface-water sites from community water systems. Results of quality-assurance/quality-control samples also are presented including data for equipment blanks, field blanks, source solution blanks, and replicate samples.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Concentration data for anthropogenic organic compounds in groundwater, surface water, and finished water of selected community water systems in the United States, 2002-10