Groundwater Quality in the Delaware, Genesee, and St. Lawrence River Basins, New York, 2015

Open-File Report 2019-1005
Prepared in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
By: , and 

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Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, collected groundwater samples from 5 production wells and 5 domestic wells in the Delaware River Basin, 8 production wells and 7 domestic wells in the Genesee River Basin, and 1 municipal well, 7 production wells, and 13 domestic wells in the St. Lawrence River Basin in New York. All samples were collected from May through November 2015 in an effort to characterize groundwater quality in these basins. The samples were collected and processed by using standard U.S. Geological Survey procedures and were analyzed for 148 physiochemical properties and constituents, including dissolved gases, major ions, nutrients, trace elements, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, radionuclides, and indicator bacteria.

The Delaware River Basin study area covers 2,360 square miles (mi2) in southeastern New York. Of the 10 wells sampled in the Delaware River Basin, 3 are completed in sand and gravel, and 7 are completed in bedrock. Groundwater in the Delaware River Basin was generally of good quality, although properties and concentrations of some constituents—pH, iron, manganese, aluminum, radon-222, and total coliform bacteria—sometimes equaled or exceeded primary, secondary, or proposed drinking-water standards. The constituent most frequently detected in concentrations exceeding drinking-water standards (10 of 10 samples) was radon-222.

The Genesee River Basin study area includes the entire 2,439 mi2 of the basin in western New York. Of the 15 wells sampled in the Genesee River Basin, 6 are completed in sand and gravel, and 9 are completed in bedrock. Groundwater in the Genesee River Basin was generally of good quality, although properties and concentrations of some constituents—chloride, sodium, dissolved solids, iron, manganese, aluminum, arsenic, radon-222, methane, total coliform bacteria, fecal coliform bacteria, and Escherichia coli bacteria—sometimes equaled or exceeded primary, secondary, or proposed drinking-water standards. The constituent most frequently detected in concentrations exceeding drinking-water standards (12 of 15 samples) was radon-222.

The St. Lawrence River Basin study area includes the entire 5,650 mi2 of the basin in northeastern New York. Of the 21 wells sampled in the St. Lawrence River Basin, 7 are completed in sand and gravel, and 14 are completed in bedrock. Groundwater in the St. Lawrence River Basin was generally of good quality, although properties and concentrations of some constituents—pH, chloride, sodium, dissolved solids, iron, manganese, sulfate, nitrate, radon-222, total coliform bacteria, fecal coliform bacteria, and Escherichia coli bacteria—sometimes equaled or exceeded primary, secondary, or proposed drinking-water standards. The constituent most frequently detected in concentrations exceeding drinking-water standards (14 of 21 samples) was radon-222.

Suggested Citation

Scott, T.-M., Nystrom, E.A., and Reddy, J.E., 2019, Groundwater quality in the Delaware, Genesee, and St. Lawrence River Basins, New York, 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1005, 42 p., 2 app., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191005.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods of Investigation
  • Groundwater Quality
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Results of Water-Sample Analyses, 2015
  • Appendix 2. Results of Water-Sample Analyses, 2005–6, 2010, and 2015

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Groundwater quality in the Delaware, Genesee, and St. Lawrence River Basins, New York, 2015
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2019-1005
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191005
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New York Water Science Center
Description Report: viii, 42 p.; 2 Appendixes
Country United States
State New York