Groundwater and Aquifers - 6 of 21
Groundwater and Aquifers FAQs - 21 Found
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are widely used in the manufacture of many products including refrigerants, plastics, adhesives, paints, and petroleum products, have been detected in about one-third of the wells sampled by the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Chloroform and other trihalomethanes, the most commonly detected compounds, were found in about 9 percent of the sampled wells. Solvents, particularly chlorinated solvents, were found in about 8 percent of sampled wells. VOCs predominantly occur in urban areas, often in mixtures; specifically, 2 or more compounds were found in about one quarter of the sampled urban wells.
A commonly detected VOC is methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), which is a gasoline oxygenate designed to add oxygen to decrease vehicular carbon monoxide emissions and ozone levels in the atmosphere. MTBE has the highest production volume of all fuel oxygenates.
- Trihalomethanes, solvents, and gasoline oxygenates are the most commonly detected volatile organic compounds in ambient groundwater.