Preliminary hydrogeologic assessment of a ground-water contamination area in Wolcott, Connecticut

Open-File Report 97-219
By: , and 



Contamination of ground water by volatile organic compounds and inorganic constituents has been identified at a number of industrial sites in the Town of Wolcott, Connecticut. Contamination is also present at a municipal landfill in the City of Waterbury that is upgradient from the industrial sites in the local ground-water-flow system. The study area, which lies in the Western Highlands of Connecticut, is in the Mad River Valley, a tributary to the Naugatuck River. Geohydrologic units (aquifer materials) include unconsolidated glacial sediments (surficial materials) and fractured crystalline (metamorphic) bedrock. Surficial materials include glacial till, coarse-grained andfine-grained glacial stratified deposits, and postglacial floodplain alluvium and swamp deposits. The ground-water-flow system in the surficial aquifer is complex because the hydraulic properties of the surficial materials are highly variable. In the bedrock aquifer, ground water moves exclusively through fractures. Hydrologic characteristics of the crystalline bedrock-degree of confinement, hydraulic conductivity, storativity, and porosity-are poorly defined in the study area. Further study is needed to adequately assess ground-water flow and contaminant migration under current or past hydrologic conditions. All known water-supply wells in the study area obtain water from the bedrock aquifer. Twenty households in a hillside residential area on Tosun Road currently obtain drinking water from private wells tapping the bedrock aquifer. The extent of contamination in the bedrock aquifer and the potential for future contamination from known sources of contamination in the surficial aquifer is of concern to regulatory agencies. Previous investigations have identified ground-water contamination by volatile organic compounds at the Nutmeg Valley Road site area. Contamination has been associated with on-site disposal of heavy metals, chlorinated and non-chlorinated volatile organic compounds, and cyanide. Concentrations of volatile organic compounds detected in water samples collected from bedrock wells during 1981-95 at the Nutmeg Valley Road site area show a general downward trend through time. Water samples collected from wells completed in surficial materials were not collected systematically, and a trend in concentration cannot be identified.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Preliminary hydrogeologic assessment of a ground-water contamination area in Wolcott, Connecticut
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 97-219
DOI 10.3133/ofr97219
Edition -
Year Published 1997
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey ; Information Services [distributor],
Description iv, 29 p. :ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ;28 cm.