New England Water Science Center

Groundwater Quality Assessment

Understanding where and why contaminants are present in groundwater, the persistence of these contaminants in the environment, and their impacts on a state or region, are important concerns for water-resource and public-health scientists. For example, our scientists conduct studies that provide insight on how drought can affect concentrations of arsenic in well water and its implications for human exposure and health; the persistence of chemicals like PFAS (often referred to as the forever chemical); and how nutrients and chemicals of emerging concern (for example, pharmaceuticals, hormones, and 1,4-dioxane) move through groundwater systems. This information is used by our stakeholders to make data-driven decisions about the management of water resources and the protection of human and ecosystem health.

Filter Total Items: 7
Date published: February 19, 2020
Status: Active

Arsenic variability in water-supply wells

The USGS, in cooperation with the Town of Seabrook, New Hampshire and a private well owner, is assessing the variability of arsenic over multiple time scales. A network of three wells is being used to monitor changes in arsenic, arsenic species, a host of other chemical constituents, and the distribution of ages of groundwater entering the wells. The wells—one domestic bedrock aquifer well,...

Date published: December 7, 2018
Status: Active

The Purge Analyzer Tool (PAT) to Assess Optimal Pumping Parameters in the Collection of Representative Groundwater Samples from Wells

The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is developing analytical models to assess in-well groundwater flow conditions during the collection of groundwater samples from wells being pumped. This information can be used to inform groundwater samplers on when and how to collect samples that are most reflective of the targeted aquifer or...

Date published: October 24, 2018
Status: Active

Assessment of Hydrologic and Water-Quality Changes in Shallow Groundwater Beneath a Coastal Neighborhood Being Converted from Septic Systems to Municipal Sewers

The U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating on a study to better understand changes to groundwater quality beneath a densely developed coastal neighborhood as it undergoes conversion from onsite wastewater disposal to municipal sewering.

Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Preliminary Research into the Causes of Iron Fouling in Water at Roadway Construction Sites

The USGS and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation are conducting preliminary research into the causes of iron fouling in water at roadway construction sites where blasted bedrock is used as on-site fill material.

Date published: May 21, 2018
Status: Active

Study to Test a Novel Shallow Well Design that May Provide Contaminant-Free Water Supply to Domestic Well Users in Arsenic-Prone Parts of the United States

The USGS, the University of New Hampshire, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, and the Maine Geological Survey are collaborating on a study of a novel shallow well design that might be able to provide safe drinking water to domestic well users in arsenic-prone parts of the Nation.

Contacts: Joseph Ayotte
Date published: May 18, 2018
Status: Active

Towards Understanding the Impact of Drought on the Arsenic Hazard for the Private Domestic Well Population in the United States

The USGS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are examining the potential effects of droughts on the arsenic hazard in private well water across the Nation.

Date published: April 18, 2017
Status: Completed

Mapping and Characterizing the Arsenic Hazard in Private Well Water Across the Nation

Study estimates about 2.1 million people using wells high in arsenic: USGS research directly supports federal agencies concerned with public health—specifically, understanding natural hazards in private domestic drinking water and the risk they pose to human health.

Contacts: Joseph Ayotte