Private and public wells throughout Morgan County, W. Va., were tested to determine aquifer hydraulic, geochemical, and water-quality characteristics. The entire study area is located in the Valley and Ridge Physiographic Province, a region of complex geologic structure and lithology. Aquifers in the study area are characterized by thin to thick bedded formations with interbedding among the various limestones, shales, sandstones, and siltstones that are folded into a series of steeply dipping north-south trending anticlines and synclines. Zones of ground-water production typically consist of one to two fracture sets, with little to no production from unfractured bedrock matrix. Measurements of transmissivity range from 2 to 1,490 feet squared per day, with the larger transmissivities occurring near bedding contacts and in zones with cross-faulting or jointing. Ground water flows from recharge areas in the uplands to local drainages and to deeper flow systems that appear to be controlled by regional geologic structure. The overall flow direction is from south to north within the study area.
Ground water within the study area is predominantly a calcium-bicarbonate type water reflecting contact with carbonate rocks. Sodium-bicarbonate and calcium-magnesium-sulfate end-members also exist, with many samples exhibiting mixing, which may be the result of flow between the differing rock types or within units containing both carbonate rocks and shales. Values of water-quality characteristics that were greater than U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking-water standards included radon-222, pH, turbidity, iron, manganese, aluminum, and total- and fecal-coliform and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. Concentrations of radon-222 were detected in all samples from all units, with the largest concentrations (1,330 and 2,170 picocuries per liter) from the Clinton Formation.