In 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, compiled historical groundwater-quality data collected from 1948 to 2011 and water-well completion information in parts of Lincoln, Oklahoma, and Pottawatomie Counties in central Oklahoma to support the development of a comprehensive water-management plan for the Tribe’s jurisdictional area. In this study, water-quality data from 155 water wells, collected from 1948 to 2011, were retrieved from the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System database; these data include measurements of pH, specific conductance, and hardness and concentrations of the major ions, trace elements, and radionuclides that have Maximum Contaminant Levels or Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels in public drinking-water supplies. Information about well characteristics includes ranges of well yield and well depth of private water wells in the study area and was compiled from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board Multi-Purpose Well Completion Report database. This report also shows depth to water from land surface by using shaded 30-foot contours that were created by using a geographic information system and spatial layers of a 2009 potentiometric surface (groundwater elevation) and land-surface elevation.
Wells in the study area produce water from the North Canadian River alluvial and terrace aquifers, the underlying Garber Sandstone and Wellington Formation that compose the Garber–Wellington aquifer, and the Chase, Council Grove, and Admire Groups. Water quality varies substantially between the alluvial and terrace aquifers and bedrock aquifers in the study area. Water from the alluvial aquifer has relatively high concentrations of dissolved solids and generally is used for livestock only, whereas water from the terrace aquifer has low concentrations of dissolved solids and is used extensively by households in the study area. Water from the bedrock aquifer also is used extensively by households but may have high concentrations of trace elements, including uranium, in some areas where groundwater pH is above 8.0.
Well yields vary and are dependent on aquifer characteristics and well-completion practices. Well yields in the unconsolidated alluvial and terrace aquifers generally are higher than yields from bedrock aquifers but are limited by the thickness and extent of these river deposits. Well yields in the alluvium and terrace aquifers commonly range from 50 to 150 gallons per minute and may exceed 300 gallons per minute, whereas well yields in the bedrock aquifers commonly range from 25 to 50 gallons per minute in the western one-third of study area (Oklahoma County) and generally less than 25 gallons per minute in the eastern two-thirds of the study area (Lincoln and Pottawatomie Counties).