Ground-water resources of Kleberg County, Texas

Water Supply Paper 773-D




Abundant supplies of fresh water are obtained from deep artesian wells In all parts of Kleberg County. The water is derived from a stratum of sand, 10 to 150 feet thick, which usually has been referred to the Goliad sand but possibly may be at the base of the LIssie formation. The top of the sand Is reached at depths of around 400 feet In the western part of the county, 600 to 700 feet In the locality of Klngsville, and 1,250 to 1,450 feet In the eastern part of the county. Small supplies of fairly good water are obtained from shallow wells In very sandy areas in the eastern and southern parts of the county, but with this exception, so far as known, no good water has been obtained In the county either above or below the artesian fresh-water horizon.

The fresh artesian water Is supplied by percolation from the outcrop of the water-bearing sands, which is many miles to the west In Jim Wells, Brooks, and Duval Counties. The estimated average replenishment from the outcrop to the wells of Kleberg County is 3,000,000 gallons a day.

Available Information regarding most of the wells of the county Is given in the table of well records. Of the 43V wells listed 34 are not In use, and the water supplies from the others are used as follows: , Entirely for stock, 151; domestic use and stock, 241; public supply, 3; Industrial supply, 2; Irrigation, 4; railroad supply, 1; unrecorded, 1. About 80 are flowing wells In the southern and eastern parts of the county.

It is concluded that the total withdrawal from those wells averages about 4,000,000 gallons a day. Some water is wasted, but the amount is not very great.

There has been a general decline In the artesian head throughout the county. The largest decline has been in the western part of the county and In the vicinity of Klngsville, where the water level is now 15 to 45 feet below the surface in wells that once had a strong flow. Wells continue to flow in the southern and eastern parts of the county, but under less head than formerly. There was a small net loss in head in most parts of the county between the winters of 1932-33 and 1934-35, indicating that the decline is slowly continuing. Originally the artesian pressure In the fresh-water sands was much higher than the pressure In the overlying saltwater sands, but this relation has been reversed in the western part of the county and In the district around Klngsville, as a result of the decline in artesian head.

Water obtained from the fresh-water horizon is comparatively fresh in the western and central parts of the county but contains a somewhat higher proportion of chlorides toward the Gulf. Samples obtained from about 100 wells, located for the most part in the central part of the county, showed a. higher chloride content than is normal for the freshwater beds in the area. These wells are believed in large part to be defective and to be admitting salt water. This was demonstrated and the leaks located in several wells that were tested. No evidence was found of salt-water contamination by percolation through the formations, however. The leaky wells should be repaired, If practicable, or sealed to prevent them from contaminating the fresh-water sand. The chances of leaks developing can be largely eliminated If the wells are properly drilled and provided with casing of good grade, and the casing is adequately seated.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Ground-water resources of Kleberg County, Texas
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
Texas Water Science Center
197-232 p.
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title:
Contributions to the hydrology of the United States
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