Ground-water quality data (1917-96) from 772 wells in 16 alluvial basins that have minimal urban development were used to determine the effect of nonurban factors on ground-water quality in south- central Arizona. Characterization of the spatial variability of ground-water quality within and among alluvial basins that have minimal urban development will provide a baseline to which water- quality problems associated with urbanization can be compared. Four water-type categories--calcium carbonate, calcium mixed anion, sodium carbonate, and sodium chloride--were used to classify the 13 alluvial basins for which adequate data were available. Ground-water quality was compared to U.S. Environmental Protaection Agency maximum contaminant levels for drinking water, depth of well, and depth to top of perforated interval for five alluvial basins that represented the four water-type categories. Exceedances of maximum contaminant levels for fluoride and nitrate occurred in three and four basins, respectively, of the five selected basins. Specific-conductance values for ground water in the five selected basins tend to increase in a northwesterly direction toward the central part of Arizona as the extent of evaporite deposits increases. The results of this study, which are part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program, can be used to determine the effects of urban land-use activities on ground-water quality in similar hydrogeologic conditions and may be the best indicator available for nonurban ground-water quality in the region.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water quality in alluvial basins that have minimal urban development, south-central Arizona
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
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