Groundwater Monitoring Program for the Brunswick-Glynn County Area, Georgia

Science Center Objects

In the Brunswick, Georgia area, saltwater has contaminated the Upper Floridan aquifer for nearly 50 years. Saltwater contamination has constrained further development of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Brunswick area, which has stimulated interest in the development of alternative sources of water supply, primarily from the shallower surficial and Brunswick aquifer systems.

USGS is working cooperatively with the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission to monitor the concentration, extent, and movement of saltwater in the Floridan aquifer system. A model is being developed to predict the potential for contamination of drinking-water supplies by saltwater based on future water-use scenarios.

USGS is working cooperatively with the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission to monitor the concentration, extent, and movement of saltwater in the Floridan aquifer system. A model is being developed to predict the potential for contamination of drinking-water supplies by saltwater based on future water-use scenarios.

Brunswick, Georgia showing main bridge and waterfront.

In the Brunswick area, saltwater has contaminated the Upper Floridan aquifer for nearly 50 years. Currently within an area of several square miles in downtown Brunswick, the aquifer yields water with a chloride concentration greater than 2,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L), above the State and Federal secondary drinking-water standard of 250 mg/L (Georgia Environmental Protection Division, 1997; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000). Saltwater contamination has constrained further development of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Brunswick area, which has stimulated interest in the development of alternative sources of water supply, primarily from the shallower surficial and Brunswick aquifer systems.

View chloride-conentration maps, 2010 and 2011, along with the changes over that time period.

Objectives

  • Define mechanisms of ground-water flow and movement of saltwater in the Floridan aquifer system.
  • Define the vertical geometry of the high-chloride plume.
  • Assess alternative sources of water supply from the surficial and Brunswick aquifer systems and the Lower Floridan aquifer.
  • Monitor long-term groundwater levels and quality; develop and maintain a comprehensive groundwater database.

Groundwater Monitoring Network

Water-level network | Saltwater-intrusion network

Fact Sheets

 

 

Links

Regional Water Planning Council for Coastal Georgia

Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network
College of Coastal Georgia
Brunswick, Glynn County, Georgia

USGS funded the monitoring equipment with installation date of 10/27/1999. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Georgia has covered the cost of maintenance since that time.

 

Selected References

Johnston, R.H., Krause, R.E., Mayer, F.W., Ryder, P.D., Tibals, C.H., and Hunn, J.D., 1980, Estimated potentiometric surface for the Tertiary limestone aquifer system, Southeastern United States, prior to development: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 80-406, 1 map sheet. [Also available at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr80406.]

Sprinkle, C.L., 1989, Geochemistry of the Floridan aquifer system in Florida and parts of Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1403-I, 105 p. [Also available at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/pp1403I.]

Wait, R.L., and Gregg, D.O., 1973, Hydrology and chloride contamination of the principal artesian aquifer in Glynn County: Georgia Department of Natural Resources Hydrologic Report, 93 p.

Williams, L.J., and Kuniansky, E.L., 2015, Revised hydrogeologic framework of the Floridan aquifer system in Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina (ver. 1.1, March 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1807, 140 p., 23 pls. [Also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/pp1807.]

Clarke, J.S., and Rumman, M. A., 2004, Pond-Aquifer Flow and Water Availability in the Vicinity of Two Coastal Area Seepage Ponds, Glynn and Bulloch Counties, Georgia : U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5260, 76 p. [Also available at https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2004/5260/]

Clarke, J.S., Leeth, D.C., Taylor-Harris, D., Painter, J.A., and Labowski, J. L., 2004, Summary of Hydraulic Properties of the Floridan Aquifer System in Coastal Georgia and Adjacent Parts of South Carolina and Florida : U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5264, 54 p. [Also available at https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2004/5264/]

Peck, M.F., Clarke, J.S., Ransom, Camille III, and Richards, C.J., 1999, Potentiometric surface of the Upper Floridan Aquifer in Georgia and adjacent parts of Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina, May 1998, and water-level trends in Georgia, 1990-98: Georgia Geologic Survey Hydrologic Atlas 22, 1 sheet, scale 1:1,000,000. [Also available at https://ga.water.usgs.gov/publications/ggs/hydatlas-22/]

Georgia Water Resources Conference Proceedings

Jones, L.E., 2001, Saltwater Contamination in the Upper Floridan Aquifer at Brunswick, Georgia: in Proceedings of the 2001 Georgia Water Resources Conference, held March 26-27, 2001, at the University of Georgia, Kathryn J. Hatcher, editor, Institute of Ecology, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, p. 644-647.

Krause, R.E., and Clarke, J.S., 2001, Saltwater contamination of ground water at Brunswick, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: in Proceedings of the 2001 Georgia Water Resources Conference, held March 26-27, 2001, at the University of Georgia, Kathryn J. Hatcher, editor, Institute of Ecology, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, p. 756-759.

Peck, M.F., 1999, Water levels in the Upper Floridan aquifer in the coastal area of Georgia, 1990-98: in Proceedings of the 1999 Georgia Water Resources Conference, held March 30-31, 1999, at The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, Kathryn J. Hatcher, editor, Institute of Ecology, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Peck, M.F., Clarke, J.S., Abu-Ruman, Malek, and Laitta, M.T., 2001, Hydrogeologic Conditions at Two Seepage Ponds in the Coastal Area of Georgia, August 1999 -- February 2001: in Proceedings of the 2001 Georgia Water Resources Conference, held March 26-27, 2001, at the University of Georgia, Kathryn J. Hatcher, editor, Institute of Ecology, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Peck, Michael F., McFadden, Keith W., and Leeth, David C., 2005, Impact of a major industrial shutdown on groundwater flow and quality in the St. Marys area, southeastern Georgia and northeastern Florida, 20012003. Proceedings of the 2005 Georgia Water Resources Conference, held April 25-27, 2005, at the University of Georgia. Kathryn J. Hatcher, editor, Institute of Ecology, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. [Also available at https://ga.water.usgs.gov/publications/other/gwrc2005/pdf/GWRC05_Peck.pdf]

Priest, Sherlyn, and Clarke, John S., 2005, Potential effects of groundwater development in eastern Camden County, Georgia, on groundwater resources of Cumberland Island National Seashore. Proceedings of the 2005 Georgia Water Resources Conference, held April 25-27, 2005, at the University of Georgia. Kathryn J. Hatcher, editor, Institute of Ecology, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. [Also available at https://ga.water.usgs.gov/publications/other/gwrc2005/pdf/GWRC05_Priest....

Warner, Debbie, and Aulenbach, B.T., 1999, Regression technique for removing effects of tides and pumpage from ground-water levels during an aquifer recovery test at St Marys, Georgia: in Proceedings of the 1999 Georgia Water Resources Conference, held March 30- 31, 1999, at The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, Kathryn J. Hatcher, editor, Institute of Ecology, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Abstracts and conference papers

Krause, R.E., 2000, Ground-water resources of coastal Georgia--past, present, and future: in Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 32, no. 2, p. 32.

Payne, D.F., Provost, A.M., Voss, C.I., and Clarke, J.S., 2001, Mechanisms of saltwater contamination of ground water in coastal Georgia, U.S.A.: Preliminary results of variable-density transport modeling: in, First International conference on saltwater intrusion and coastal aquifers-monitoring, modeling, and management, Essaouira, Morrocco, April 23-25, 2001.

Peck, M.F., Abu-Ruman, Maluk, Clarke, J.S., and Georgakakos, A.P., 2000, Water-supply potential of a seepage pond near Brunswick, Georgia: in Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 32, no. 2, p. 66.