Information about vulnerability of ground water to contamination is needed to facilitate ground-water management. Vulnerability of ground water refers to the intrinsic characteristics that determine the sensitivity of the water to being adversely affected by an imposed contaminant load. Within the greater Denver area, vulnerability of the uppermost ground water to contamination from the surface was assessed by considering the intrinsic characteristics included in a method developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Water Well Association, the DRASTIC method. The seven geohydrologic characteristics considered are: (1) Aquifer media, (2) hydraulic conductivity, (3) unsaturated media, (4) depth to water, (5) recharge, (6) soil media, and (7) land-surface slope. Recharge from precipitation generally is less than 2 inches per year; no effort was made to quantify the variation of recharge throughout the study area. Data for geology, depth to water, soils, and elevation were obtained and processed to produce maps of the other six characteristics. Spatial and attribute data for these maps were stored and processed by geographic-information-system software to produce a map showing vulnerability of the uppermost ground water to contamination from the surface. This report describes the assessment of each geohydrologic characteristic and the 157 vulnerability response units that were delineated within the greater Denver area. These response units are unique with respect to the geohydrologic characteristics considered. The uppermost ground water within each of the vulnerability response units are described in a series of tables, which include qualitative and selected quantitative data and the vulnerability rating assigned for each of the seven geohydrologic characteristics.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Vulnerability of the uppermost ground water to contamination in the greater Denver area, Colorado
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
U.S.G.S. Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],