Sparta Aquifer Recovery Project

Science Center Objects

Short Title: Sparta Recovery Project

Project Chief: Anna Nottmeier

Cooperators: Union County Water Conservation Board

Project Time Frame: 2002 - present

The Sparta aquifer is a confined aquifer of great regional importance and is a major water resource for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses. A large cone of depression is centered near the City of El Dorado. Local industry, the city of El Dorado, and Union County are currently working to reduce withdrawals from the Sparta aquifer through water reuse, conservation, and importing surface water from the Ouachita River.

The Sparta aquifer is a confined aquifer of great regional importance and is a major water resource for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses. A large cone of depression is centered near the City of El Dorado. Local industry, the city of El Dorado, and Union County are currently working to reduce withdrawals from the Sparta aquifer through water reuse, conservation, and importing surface water from the Ouachita River. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is documenting the recovery of ground-water resources in the Sparta aquifer as a result of implementing conservation measures and importing surface water in Union County, Arkansas. The Union County Water Conservation Board with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a study in 2002 with the USGS, the Union County Conservation District, and Burns & McDonnell to monitor the impact of water-level recovery and water-quality characteristics of the Sparta aquifer system in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana.

The objectives of this study are to provide continuous, real-time, internet accessible water-level data and to conduct periodic water-quality data from a network of wells withdrawing water from the Sparta aquifer to detect trends. Eight wells are equipped with a pressure transducer connected to a digital data logger and downloaded via a telephone modem every 6-hours for near real-time water-level data and placed on the USGS webpage (http://ar.water.usgs.gov). Borehole geophysical logging has been performed on selected wells to delineate structural and lithologic features to better identify the thickness of the Sparta aquifer. Water-quality samples are being collected semi-annually from 12 existing wells and measured for temperature, specific conductance, and chloride concentrations. The results of this study are providing the Union County Water Conservation Board with documentation of baseline water-level and water-quality conditions in the aquifer to evaluate current and future aquifer management activities.

Publications

Fact Sheet 2007-3102
Monitoring of Sparta Aquifer Recovery in Southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana, 2003-07,
by David A. Freiwald, U.S. Geological Survey, and Sherrel F. Johnson, Union County Water Conservation Board

Fact Sheet 2006-3090
Monitoring the Recovery of the Sparta Aquifer in Southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana,
by Rheannon M. Scheiderer and David A. Freiwald

Fact Sheet 2004-3086
Monitoring Water-Level and Water-Quality Response to Conservation Measures in the Sparta Aquifer of the Union County, Arkansas Area,
by Daniel S. Yeatts