The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects ground-water data and conducts studies to monitor hydrologic conditions, better define ground-water resources, and address problems related to water supply, water use, and water quality. During 2004-2005, ground-water levels were monitored continuously in a network of 183 wells completed in major aquifers throughout the State. Because of missing data or the short period of record for a number of these wells (less than 3 years), a total of 171 wells from the network are discussed in this report. These wells include 19 in the surficial aquifer system, 20 in the Brunswick aquifer system and equivalent sediments, 69 in the Upper Floridan aquifer, 17 in the Lower Floridan aquifer and underlying units, 10 in the Claiborne aquifer, 1 in the Gordon aquifer, 10 in the Clayton aquifer, 12 in the Cretaceous aquifer system, 2 in Paleozoic-rock aquifers, and 11 in crystalline-rock aquifers. Data from the network indicate that generally water levels rose after the end of a drought (fall 2002), with water levels in 152 of the wells in the normal or above-normal range by 2005. An exception to this pattern of water-level recovery is in the Cretaceous aquifer system where water levels in 7 of the 12 wells monitored were below normal during 2005.
In addition to continuous water-level data, periodic synoptic water-level measurements were collected and used to construct potentiometric-surface maps for the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Camden County-Charlton County area during September 2004 and May 2005, in the Brunswick area during June 2004 and June 2005, and in the City of Albany-Dougherty County area during October 2004 and during October 2005. In general, the configuration of the potentiometric surfaces showed little change during 2004-2005 in each of the areas.
Ground-water quality in the Upper Floridan aquifer is monitored in the Albany, Savannah, and Brunswick areas, and in Camden County; and the Lower Floridan aquifer, monitored in the Savannah and Brunswick areas and in Camden County. In the Albany area, nitrate concentrations generally increased since the end of the drought during 2002. Concentrations increased in water collected from 13 of the 16 wells sampled during 2004-2005 and by November 2005, water from 2 wells had nitrate as N concentrations that were above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) 10-milligram-per-liter (mg/L) drinking-water standard.
In the Savannah area, measurement of fluid conductivity and chloride concentration in water samples from discrete depths in three wells completed in the Upper Floridan aquifer and one well in the Lower Floridan aquifer were used to assess changes in water quality in the Savannah area. At Tybee Island, chloride concentrations in samples from the Lower Floridan aquifer increased during 2004-2005 and were above the 250-mg/L USEPA drinking-water standard. At Skidaway Island, water in the Upper Floridan aquifer is fresh, and chloride concentrations did not appreciably change during 2004-2005. However, chloride concentrations in samples collected from the Lower Floridan aquifer during 2004-2005 showed disparate changes; whereby, chloride concentration increased in the deepest sampled interval (1,070 feet) and decreased in a shallower sampled interval (900 feet). At Fort Pulaski, water samples collected from the Upper Floridan aquifer are fresh and did not appreciably change during 2004-2005.
In the Brunswick area, maps showing the chloride concentration of water in the Upper Floridan aquifer were constructed using data collected from 41 wells during June 2004 and from 39 wells during June 2005. Analyses indicate that concentrations remained above the USEPA drinking-water standard in an approximate 2-square-mile area. During 2004-2005, chloride concentrations increased in samples from 18 wells and decreased in samples from 11 wells.
In the Camden County area, chloride concentrations during 2004-2005 were analyzed in water
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-Water Conditions and Studies in Georgia, 2004-2005