A study of the ambient ground-water quality in the vicinity of Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) Bangor was conducted to provide the U.S. Navywith background levels of selected constituents.The Navy needs this information to plan and manage cleanup activities on the base. DuringMarch and April 1995, 136 water-supply wells were sampled for common ions, trace elements, and organic compounds; not all wells were sampled for all constituents. Man-made organic compounds were detected in only two of fifty wells, and the sources of these organic compounds were attributed to activities in the immediate vicinities of these off- base wells. Drinking water standards for trichloroethylene, iron, and manganese were exceeded in one of these wells, which was probablycontaminated by an old local (off-base) dump. Ground water from wells open to the following hydrogeologic units (in order from shallow to deep) was investigated: the Vashon till confining unit (Qvt, three wells); the Vashon aquifer (Qva, 54 wells); the Upper confining unit (QC1, 16 wells); the Permeable interbeds within QC1 (QC1pi, 34 wells); and the Sea-level aquifer (QA1, 29 wells).The 50th and 90th percentile ambient background levels of 35 inorganic constituents were determined for each hydrogeologic unit. At least tenmeasurements were required for a constituent in each hydro- geologic unit for determination of ambient background levels, and data for three wellsdetermined to be affected by localized activities were excluded from these analyses. The only drinking water standards exceeded by ambient background levels were secondary maximum contaminant levels for iron (300 micrograms per liter), in QC1 and QC1pi, and manganese (50 micrograms per liter), in all of the units. The 90th percentile values for arsenic in QC1pi, QA1, and for the entire study area are above 5 micrograms per liter, the Model Toxics Control Act Method A value for protecting drinking water, but well below the maximum contaminant level of 50 micrograms per liter for arsenic. The manganese standard was exceeded in 38 wells and the standard for iron was exceeded in 12 wells.Most of these wells were in QC1 or QC1pi and had dissolved oxygen concentrations of less than 1 milligram per liter and dissolved organic carbon concentrations greater than 1\x11milligram per liter.The dissolved oxygen concentration is generally lower in the deeper units, while pH increases; the recommended pH range of 6.5-8.5 standard units was exceeded in 9 wells. The common-ion chemistry was similar for all of the units.