Title

Baseline Groundwater Quality from Domestic-Supply Wells in Lycoming and Other Northern Pennsylvania Counties

Item Type

Poster

Location

Elaine Langone Center, Terrace Room

Start Date

13-11-2015 8:00 PM

End Date

13-11-2015 9:59 PM

Description

Most rural residents in Pennsylvania use groundwater from domestic wells for drinking, cleaning, and other purposes. Despite this reliance on groundwater, Pennsylvania has no well-construction standards and often little is known about the chemical quality of groundwater used for domestic supply. Current water-quality conditions in shallow aquifers used for domestic supply need to be characterized to provide a baseline against which future water-quality changes can be evaluated, especially in areas vulnerable to contamination. Public interest in the chemical quality of groundwater in shallow aquifers is especially intense in rural areas experiencing large-scale development of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale Formation. In the summer of 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey partnered with Lycoming County, the West Branch Regional Authority, and local health systems to collect groundwater samples from 75 domestic-supply wells representing major rock types in Lycoming County. Wells meeting prescribed construction criteria were randomly selected so that the findings are not biased toward wells with known problems. Samples were analyzed for a combination of 145 constituents and properties including bacteria, nutrients, major ions, dissolved and suspended solids, metals and trace elements, radioactivity, volatile organic compounds, radiochemicals, and dissolved gases, including methane and radon-222. These data will be used for characterizing groundwater chemistry in different rock types, determining spatial variability of groundwater chemistry, and establishing a baseline against which future changes can be evaluated. Expansion of this sampling into Bradford County is planned in 2016 and efforts to include other northern-tier counties in the Susquehanna River Basin are underway.

Language

eng

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Nov 13th, 8:00 PM Nov 13th, 9:59 PM

Baseline Groundwater Quality from Domestic-Supply Wells in Lycoming and Other Northern Pennsylvania Counties

Elaine Langone Center, Terrace Room

Most rural residents in Pennsylvania use groundwater from domestic wells for drinking, cleaning, and other purposes. Despite this reliance on groundwater, Pennsylvania has no well-construction standards and often little is known about the chemical quality of groundwater used for domestic supply. Current water-quality conditions in shallow aquifers used for domestic supply need to be characterized to provide a baseline against which future water-quality changes can be evaluated, especially in areas vulnerable to contamination. Public interest in the chemical quality of groundwater in shallow aquifers is especially intense in rural areas experiencing large-scale development of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale Formation. In the summer of 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey partnered with Lycoming County, the West Branch Regional Authority, and local health systems to collect groundwater samples from 75 domestic-supply wells representing major rock types in Lycoming County. Wells meeting prescribed construction criteria were randomly selected so that the findings are not biased toward wells with known problems. Samples were analyzed for a combination of 145 constituents and properties including bacteria, nutrients, major ions, dissolved and suspended solids, metals and trace elements, radioactivity, volatile organic compounds, radiochemicals, and dissolved gases, including methane and radon-222. These data will be used for characterizing groundwater chemistry in different rock types, determining spatial variability of groundwater chemistry, and establishing a baseline against which future changes can be evaluated. Expansion of this sampling into Bradford County is planned in 2016 and efforts to include other northern-tier counties in the Susquehanna River Basin are underway.