Investigations and Technical Assistance to the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, in Assessing the Distribution and Transport of Perfluorinated Compounds in Groundwater and Surface Water

Science Center Objects

The USGS New Jersey Water Science Center is providing technical hydrologic assistance to the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL) in New Jersey, regarding contamination issues associated with perfluorinated compounds, such as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and other perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in groundwater and surface water.

The U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) is assessing the current location and extent of PFAS contamination at JBMDL, as well as whether PFAS have migrated outside the boundaries of JBMDL and into public and private drinking water supplies.

Photo of Ground stratification showing different types of Geomorphology

Exposure of the clay-sand facies of the Cohansey Formation in the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system.

(Credit: Alex Fiore, USGS. Public domain.)

In cooperation with AFCEC, the USGS New Jersey Water Science Center has developed a hydrostratigraphic framework of JBMDL and vicinity to better understand the hydrogeology of the Kirkwood-Cohansey and Vincentown aquifers that contain, or may contain, PFAS. A groundwater flow model is also in development to represent the groundwater flow system and the potential PFAS migration pathways from known source areas on JBMDL to potential receptors outside JBMDL boundaries, as well as to identify potential unknown source areas of known PFAS contamination areas. These efforts included a synoptic water-level gaging event that yielded over 500 measurements across JBMDL and surrounding area, completed jointly with contractors of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a one week time period.

PFAS has been detected in two lakes near JBMDL—Little Pine Lake in Browns Mills, New Jersey and Pine Lake in Manchester Township, New Jersey. A gain/loss assessment is currently underway by USGS to determine the potential of PFAS to exit these lake surface waters and enter the unconfined aquifer system that supplies drinking water to neighboring communities. Groundwater piezometers and surface water monitors have been installed at both sites to continuously record water level and temperature conditions in the lakes and the underlying aquifer.


For more information on PFAS at JBMDL, please visit