Ground-water quality atlas of Oakland County, Michigan

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2000-4120

Prepared in cooperation with the Oakland County Health Division



The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with Oakland County Health Division (OCHD), collected 140 water samples from 38 wells in Oakland County during 1998 to better understand ground-water quality. OCHD had observed temporal variations in concentrations of various constituents, so two additional sets of samples were collected to evaluate potential short-term variability related to sample collection procedures and long-term seasonal variability. Replicate samples from 28 wells were analyzed in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Drinking Water Laboratory to compare MDEQ’s analytical results to those obtained from the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory. Several additional databases describing population, land use, water supply, soils, geology, and flows of ground water and surface water are presented in the first part of the report to assist in interpreting the water-quality data. Maps created from these databases are provided in the first portion of the report as an extension of the study-area description.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has established Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) and Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels (SMCL) for which samples were analyzed in this study. Water from the 38 wells sampled by the USGS did not exceed the SMCL or MCL for sulfate, fluoride, or nitrite. However, water from 26 wells exceeded the SMCL for iron, water from 12 wells exceeded the SMCL for manganese, and water from 12 wells exceeded the SMCL for dissolved solids. Water from two wells exceeded the MCL for nitrate, although nitrate concentrations in water from most wells was below the detection limit. Water from seven wells exceeded the SMCL for chloride, and water from all wells contained detectable concentrations of chloride. Water from five wells exceeded the MCL for arsenic, and most of the wells sampled contained detectable concentrations of arsenic. These five wells were identified from previous MDEQ analyses to have elevated arsenic concentrations, and were sampled to obtain additional chemistry information. Replicate samples were collected from 26 of the 38 wells for analysis at the MDEQ Drinking-Water Laboratory to compare the results with the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory. The results of the replicate analyses indicate close agreement between the laboratories, with mean differences for nitrate, chloride, and arsenic of 0.10 milligrams per liter (mg/L) as nitrogen, 6.8 mg/L, and 0.0008 mg/L, respectively between the USGS and MDEQ analyses. Potential health effects associated with ingesting nitrate, chloride, and arsenic are provided with the water-quality data, along with references for further information.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water quality atlas of Oakland County, Michigan
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Lansing, MI
Contributing office(s):
Michigan Water Science Center
vi, 53 p.
United States
Oakland County
Online Only (Y/N):
Additional Online Files (Y/N):