USGS report identifies public-supply well contamination pathways

By on August 12, 2013
Different groundwater flow pathways can bring different sources of water to a well. (Credit: USGS)

Different groundwater flow pathways can bring different sources of water to a well. (Credit: USGS)

A new USGS report has identified important factors that influence the vulnerability of public-supply wells to contamination, according to a USGS press release.

“By examining ten different aquifers across the nation, we have a more thorough and robust understanding of the complexities and factors affecting water quality in our public supplies,” said Suzette Kimball, acting USGS Director.

The study identified three crucial factors for well vulnerability: the sources of the water drawn into a well, the geochemical conditions encountered by the water and the range of ages of the groundwater entering a well. This information can be utilized by water managers to predict water quality and determine treatment costs.

Drinking water for approximately one-third of the U.S. population is obtained from public-supply wells.

Image: Different groundwater flow pathways can bring different sources of water to a well. (Credit: USGS)

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