Groundwater-quality characteristics for the Wyoming Groundwater-Quality Monitoring Network, November 2009 through September 2012

Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5130
Prepared in cooperation with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
By:

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Abstract

Groundwater samples were collected from 146 shallow (less than or equal to 500 feet deep) wells for the Wyoming Groundwater-Quality Monitoring Network, from November 2009 through September 2012. Groundwater samples were analyzed for physical characteristics, major ions and dissolved solids, trace elements, nutrients and dissolved organic carbon, uranium, stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen, volatile organic compounds, and coliform bacteria. Selected samples also were analyzed for gross alpha radioactivity, gross beta radioactivity, radon, tritium, gasoline range organics, diesel range organics, dissolved hydrocarbon gases (methane, ethene, and ethane), and wastewater compounds.


Water-quality measurements and concentrations in some samples exceeded numerous U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standards. Physical characteristics and constituents that exceeded EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) in some samples were arsenic, selenium, nitrite, nitrate, gross alpha activity, and uranium. Total coliforms and Escherichia coli in some samples exceeded EPA Maximum Contaminant Level Goals. Measurements of pH and turbidity and concentrations of chloride, sulfate, fluoride, dissolved solids, aluminum, iron, and manganese exceeded EPA Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels in some samples. Radon concentrations in some samples exceeded the alternative MCL proposed by the EPA. Molybdenum and boron concentrations in some samples exceeded EPA Health Advisory Levels.


Water-quality measurements and concentrations also exceeded numerous Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) groundwater standards. Physical characteristics and constituents that exceeded WDEQ Class I domestic groundwater standards in some samples were measurements of pH and concentrations of chloride, sulfate, dissolved solids, iron, manganese, boron, selenium, nitrite, and nitrate. Measurements of pH and concentrations of chloride, sulfate, dissolved solids, aluminum, iron, manganese, boron, and selenium exceeded WDEQ Class II agriculture groundwater standards in some samples. Measurements of pH and concentrations of sulfate, dissolved solids, aluminum, boron, and selenium exceeded WDEQ Class III livestock groundwater standards in some samples. The concentrations of dissolved solids in two samples exceeded the WDEQ Class IV industry groundwater standard. Measurements of pH and concentrations of dissolved solids, aluminum, iron, manganese, and selenium exceeded WDEQ Class special (A) fish and aquatic life groundwater standards in some samples.


Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen measured in water samples were compared to the Global Meteoric Water Line and Local Meteoric Water Lines. Results indicated that recharge to all of the wells was derived from precipitation and that the water has undergone some fractionation, possibly because of evaporation.


Concentrations of organic compounds did not exceed any State or Federal water-quality standards. Few volatile organic compounds were detected in samples, whereas gasoline range organics, diesel range organics, and methane were detected most frequently.


Concentrations of wastewater compounds did not exceed any State or Federal water-quality standards. The compounds N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), benzophenone, and phenanthrene were detected most frequently.


Bacteria samples were collected, processed, incubated, and enumerated in the field or at the U.S. Geological Survey Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center. Total coliforms and Escherichia coli were detected in some samples.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Groundwater-quality characteristics for the Wyoming Groundwater-Quality Monitoring Network, November 2009 through September 2012
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2014-5130
DOI 10.3133/sir20145130
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center
Description Report: x, 77 p.; Appendix
Time Range Start 2009-11-01
Time Range End 2012-09-30
Country United States
State Wyoming
Datum North American Datum of 1983
Projection Lambert Conformal Conic projection
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y