Hydrology and simulation of ground-water flow, Lake Point, Tooele County, Utah

Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5310

Prepared in cooperation with the Tooele County; Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Rights; and Lake Point Improvement Project



Water for new residential development in Lake Point, Utah may be supplied by public-supply wells completed in consolidated rock on the east side of Lake Point. Ground-water flow models were developed to help understand the effect the proposed withdrawal will have on water levels, flowing-well discharge, spring discharge, and ground-water quality in the study area. This report documents the conceptual and numerical ground-water flow models for the Lake Point area.

The ground-water system in the Lake Point area receives recharge from local precipitation and irrigation, and from ground-water inflow from southwest of the area. Ground water discharges mostly to springs. Discharge also occurs to evapotranspiration, wells, and Great Salt Lake. Even though ground water discharges to Great Salt Lake, dense salt water from the lake intrudes under the less-dense ground water and forms a salt-water wedge under the valley. This salt water is responsible for some of the high dissolved-solids concentrations measured in ground water in Lake Point.

A steady-state MODFLOW-2000 ground-water model of Tooele Valley adequately simulates water levels, ground-water discharge, and ground-water flow direction observed in Lake Point in 1969 and 2002. Simulating an additional 1,650 acre-feet per year withdrawal from wells causes a maximum projected drawdown of about 550 feet in consolidated rock near the simulated wells and drawdown exceeding 80 feet in an area encompassing most of the Oquirrh Mountains east of Lake Point. Drawdown in most of Lake Point ranges from 2 to 10 ft, but increases to more than 40 feet in the areas proposed for residential development. Discharge to Factory Springs, flowing wells, evapotranspiration, and Great Salt Lake is decreased by about 1,100 acre-feet per year (23 percent).

The U.S. Geological Survey SUTRA variable-density ground-water-flow model generates a reasonable approximation of 2002 dissolved-solids concentration when simulating 2002 withdrawals. At most locations with measured dissolved-solids concentration in excess of 1,000 milligrams per liter, the model simulates salt-water intrusion with similar concentrations.

Simulating an additional 1,650 acre-feet per year withdrawal increased simulated dissolved-solids concentration by 200 to 1,000 milligrams per liter throughout much of Lake Point and near Fac­tory Springs at a depth of about 250 to 300 feet below land surface. The increase in dissolved-solids concentration with increased withdrawals is greater at a depth of about 700 to 800 feet and exceeds 1,000 milligrams per liter throughout most of Lake Point. At the north end of Lake Point, increases exceed 10,000 milligrams per liter.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrology and simulation of ground-water flow, Lake Point, Tooele County, Utah
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Utah Water Science Center
vi, 28 p.
United States
Tooele County
Other Geospatial:
Lake Point
Online Only (Y/N):