A growing user population within the Concho Reserve in Canadian County, Oklahoma, has increased the need for drinking water. The North Canadian River alluvium is a reliable source of ground water for agriculture, industry, and cities in Canadian County and is the only ground-water source capable of meeting large demands. This study was undertaken to collect and analyze data to describe the hydrogeology and ground-water quality of the North Canadian River alluvium within the Concho Reserve.
The alluvium forms a band about 2 miles long and 0.5 mile wide along the southern edge of the Concho Reserve. Thickness of the alluvium ranges from 19 to 75 feet thick and averages about 45 feet in the study area. Well cuttings and natural gamma-ray logs indicate the alluvium consists of interfingering lenses of clay, silt, and sand. The increase of coarse-grained sand and the decrease of clay and silt with depth suggests that the water-bearing properties of the aquifer within the study area improve with depth. A clay layer in the upper part of the aquifer may be partially responsible for surface water ponding in low areas after above normal precipitation and may delay the infiltration of potentially contaminated water from land surface.
Specific conductance measurements indicate the ground-water quality improves in a northern direction towards the terrace. Water-quality properties, bacteria counts, major ion and nutrient concentrations, trace-element and radionuclide concentrations, and organic compound concentrations were measured in one ground-water sample at the southern edge of the Concho Reserve and comply with the primary drinking-water standards. Measured concentrations of iron, manganese, sulfate, and total dissolved solids exceed the secondary maximum contaminant levels set for drinking water. The ground water is a calcium sulfate bicarbonate type and is considered very hard, with a hardness of 570 milligrams per liter as calcium carbonate.