The Utica-Rome area is along the Mohawk River and New York State Erie (Barge) Canal about midway between Lake Ontario and Albany. It encompasses about 390 square miles centered around the industrial cities of Utica and Rome. The Mohawk River, its tributary West Canada Creek, and a system of reservoirs and diversions to maintain the flow in the barge-canal system, assure an ample water supply for the foreseeable needs of the area. The water from these sources is generally of good chemical quality requiring little treatment, although that from the Mohawk River is only fair and may require some treatment for sensitive industrial processes. Additional surface water is available from smaller streams in the area, particularly Oriskany and Sauquoit Creeks, but the water from these sources is hard, and has a dissolved-solids content of more than 250 ppm (parts per million). Ground water is available in moderate quantities from unconsolidated sand and gravel deposits in the river valleys and buried bedrock channels, and in small quantities from bedrock formations and less permeable unconsolidated deposits. The quality of water from sand and gravel, and bedrock ranges from good to poor. However, where necessary, the quality can be improved with treatment.
The Mohawk River is the source of the largest quantity of water in the area. The flow of the stream below Delta Dam equals or exceeds 108 mgd (million gallons per day) 90 percent of the time, and at Little Falls it equals or exceeds 560 mgd 90 percent of the time. The flow between these two points is increased by additions from Oriskany, Sauquoit, and West Canada Creeks and from many smaller tributary streams. The flow is also increased by diversions from outside the area, from the Black and Chenango Rivers and West Canada Creek for improvement of navigation in the Erie (Barge) Canal, and from West Canada and East Branch Fish Creeks for the public supplies of Utica and Rome. Much of the public-supply water eventually reaches the river by way of sewerage and industrial waste-disposal systems. The total diversion from these sources averages more than 92 mgd. An estimated 18.5 mgd is withdrawn from the Mohawk River by industry, mostly for nonconsumptive uses.
Floods in the Utica-Rome area are not a frequent problem owing to the use of regulatory measures. The major streams fluctuate through a narrow range in stage and generally only a narrow strip along the streams is subject to flooding. Water-bearing sand and gravel deposits in the major river valleys are the principal sources of ground water, especially where they are recharged by infiltration from streams. The most important potential source is the deposit of sand and gravel underlying the extensive plain adjacent to the Mohawk River between Delta Reservoir and Rome. Maximum sustained yields from these deposits are not known; but moderate quantities of water, 300 gpm (gallons per minute) or less from a single well, can probably be obtained from some parts of the sand plain area, particularly in the vicinity of a buried bedrock channel that extends southwestward from Delta Reservoir. Similar quantities of ground water probably can be withdrawn from some parts of the flood plain of the Mohawk River between Rome and Frankfort and from the sand and gravel deposits filling the valley of Ninemile Creek below Holland Patent. The deposits underlying the flood plain of the Mohawk River generally are fine grained but in places contain interstratified beds of coarser sand and gravel. The most productive part of the flood plain is at the east end near Frankfort. The deposits in Ninemile Creek valley also are generally fine grained; but where they are sufficiently thick, as over a buried bedrock valley southwest of Floyd, moderate quantities of water may be obtained.
Small to moderate quantities of water (150 gpm or less from a single well) can be obtained from sand and gravel deposits in the bottoms of Oriskany and Sauquoit Creek vall