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Summary of geology and ground-water resources of Passaic County, New Jersey

Water-Resources Investigations Report 76-75

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Abstract

Ground water in Passaic County occurs in intergranular openings of unconsolidated stratified deposits of Quaternary age and in joints and fractures in consolidated rocks of Precambrian, Paleozoic, and Triassic age.

The Brunswick Formation of Triassic age is the most important aquifer in the southeastern one-third of Passaic County. Reported yields of public supply and industrial wells range from 50 to 510 gallons per minute (3 to 32 litres per second) and the median yield is 130 gallons per minute (8 litres per second). Most of these wells are 200 to 400 feet (61 to 122 metres) deep. The median yield of all public supply and industrial wells over 300 feet (91 metres) deep and 8 inches (203 millimetres) or larger in diameter is 230 gallons per minute (15 litres per second). Crystalline rocks of Precambrian age are the major source of ground water for domestic use in the northwestern two-thirds of Passaic County. Reported well yields range from 1 to 200 gallons per minute (.06 to 13 litres per second). The median reported yield of domestic wells is 5 gallons per minute (.31 litres per second) and that of public supply wells is 30 gallons per minute (2 litres per second).

Other consolidated rocks--rocks of Paleozoic age and the Watchung Basalt of Traissic age--are utilized primarily for domestic water supplies in Passaic County. Reported yields of wells tapping the Paleozoic rocks range from less than 1 to 35 gallons per minute (.06 to 2 litres per second) and the median yield is 10 gallons per minute (.63 litres per second). Reported yields of domestic wells tapping the Watchung Basalt range from less than 1 to 40 gallons per minute (.06 to 3 litres per second) and the median yield is 12 gallons per minute (.76 litres per second). However, reported yields of nine industrial and commercial wells range from 50 to 180 gallons per minute (3 to 11 litres per second).

Unconsolidated stratified deposits of Quaternary age are locally an important source of ground water for public supply and industrial use in parts of Passaic County. These deposits have not been extensively explored but are potentially an important source of ground water for future development. Reported yields of wells tapping the stratified deposits range from 4 to 920 gallons per minute (.25 to 58 litres per second). The median reported yield of domestic wells is 16 gallons per minute (1 litre per second) and that of public supply and industrial wells is 130 gallons per minute (8 litres per second. Depths of wells depend upon the thickness of the deposits. Reported depths range from 22 to 170 feet (7 to 52 metres).

The quality of ground water in Passaic County varies from one aquifer to another. Water from the Precambrian rocks is soft to moderately hard (34 to 104 milligrams per litre) and is low in dissolved solids (66 to 159 milligrams per litre). Water from the Brunswick Formation is moderately hard to very hard (89 to 540 milligrams per litre). The dissolved solids content ranges from 129 to 563 milligrams per litre). The occurrence of more highly mineralized water at depth in the Brunswick Formation is indicated by an analysis, made in 1885, of 16,000 milligrams per litre of dissolved solids at a depth of 2,050 feet (625 metres) in a well in Paterson. Water from two wells tapping the Quaternary deposits is moderately hard (65 and 83 milligrams per litre) and has dissolved solids contents of 122 and 133 milligrams per litre).

Water use from both surface and ground-water supplies in Passaic County averaged about 106 million gallons per day (4.6 cubic metres per second) in 1965. Ground water probably accounts for 5 to 10 percent of this total. Ground-water pumpage by the major public supply companies in the county has increased from 2.1 million gallons per day (.09 cubic metres per second) in 1951 to 4.39 million gallons per day (.19 cubic metres per second) in 1968. About 80 percent of the 4.39 million gallons per day (.19 cubic metres per second) was from wells tapping the Brunswick Formation in the southern part of the county.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Summary of geology and ground-water resources of Passaic County, New Jersey
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
76-75
Year Published:
1976
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Trenton, NJ
Description:
Report: vi, 47 p.; 3 Figures
Country:
United States
State:
New Jersey
County:
Passaic County