Reconnaissance of the shallow-unconfined aquifer in Salt Lake Valley, Utah

Water-Resources Investigations Report 83-4272




The shallow-unconfined aquifer in Salt Lake (Jordan) Valley, Utah, seldom is used for domestic or industrial purposes because it yields water slowly and is readily contaminated. The water in the aquifer, however, can flood basements and is a potential source of contamination to other water supplies. In about one-half of the valley, water in the shallow-unconfined aquifer is less than 10 feet below land surface. The general direction of flow in the shallow aquifer is toward the Jordan River. Water levels in the north part of the valley and along the Jordan River are highest in March or April and in the south part of the valley are highest in late summer. The smallest concentrations of dissolved solids in water from wells along the east side of the valley, and the greatest concentrations are in the northwest part of the valley near the Great Salt Lake. Large dissolved-solids concentrations are found near some landfills and tailings areas. Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations ranged from less than 0.1 to 86 milligrams per liter and nitrate-nitrogen concentrations from less than 0.02 to 0.85 milligram per liter. Some of the largest nitrate-nitrogen concentrations were found in water wells near animal pens. The greatest concentrations of trace elements generally came from wells near landfills and tailings area. The greatest measured concentration of cadmium was 200 microgram per liter, of mercury 0.1 microgram per liter, of lead 46 micrograms per liter, of iron 37,000 micrograms per liter and of arsenic 360 micrograms per liter. Synthetic organic chemicals were found in water from several wells. The greatest measured concentration of benzene was 400 micrograms per liter, of phenol 660 micrograms per liter, of 1,1 dichloroethane 20 micrograms per liter, of tichloroethylene 8 micrograms per liter , and of chloroethylene, 11 micrograms per liter. The greatest concentrations were in water from wells near landfills. (USGS)

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Reconnaissance of the shallow-unconfined aquifer in Salt Lake Valley, Utah
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
37 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.