Water Resources

Groundwater, Aquifers, Wells, and Springs

Filter Total Items: 100
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Metals and Other Trace Elements

Metals, metalloids, and radionuclides all are trace elements that occur naturally in the Earth's crust. In small quantities many trace elements are essential for health in all living organisms, but some trace elements can be toxic or cause cancer, and some can bioaccumulate. The USGS investigates where and how trace elements make their way into our Nation's surface water and groundwater.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Corrosivity

Corrosivity describes how aggressive water is at corroding pipes and fixtures. Corrosive water can cause lead and copper in pipes to leach into drinking water and can eventually cause leaks in plumbing.  Surface water and groundwater, both sources of drinking water, can potentially be corrosive.

Contacts: Ken Belitz
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Public Supply Wells

Are you among the more than 100 million people in the U.S. who relies on a public-supply well for your drinking water? Although the quality of finished drinking water from public water systems is regulated by the EPA, long-term protection and management of the raw groundwater tapped by public-supply wells requires an understanding of the occurrence of contaminants in this invisible, vital...

Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Domestic (Private) Supply Wells

More than 43 million people—about 15 percent of the U.S. population—rely on domestic (private) wells as their source of drinking water. The quality and safety of water from domestic wells are not regulated by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act or, in most cases, by state laws. Instead, individual homeowners are responsible for maintaining their domestic well systems and for monitoring water...

Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Mine Drainage

As settlers traveled west and mined the American landscape, thousands of new mines were created over the centuries and then abandoned. Now, these long forgotten remnants of a bygone area still haunt us, as their operations left behind materials and rock exposures that can be easily eroded and carried downstream. The USGS helps track the sources of acidic mine drainage and helps land managers...

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Radionuclides

Many people might be surprised to learn that drinking-water sources, especially groundwater, can contain radioactive elements (radionuclides). Radionuclides in water can be a concern for human health because several are toxic or carcinogenic. Other radionuclides are useful tools for determining the age of groundwater in an aquifer or of sediment deposited at the bottom of a water body.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: March 1, 2019
Status: Active

Water-Quality Benchmarks for Contaminants

How does the water quality measure up?  It all depends on what the water will be used for and what contaminants are of interest.  Water-quality benchmarks are designed to protect drinking water, recreation, aquatic life, and wildlife.  Here you’ll find links to some of the most widely used sets of water, sediment, and fish tissue benchmarks and general guidance about their interpretation.

Contacts: Lisa Nowell
Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Linking Selenium Sources to Ecosystems: Local and Global Perspectives

The sources, biogeochemistry, and ecotoxicology of selenium (Se) combine to produce a widespread potential for ecological risk such as deformities in birds and fish. Linking the understanding of source characteristics to a mechanistic, biodynamic dietary model of Se exposure on an ecosystem-scale improves the prediction of Se effects and its potential remediation.

Contacts: Theresa Presser, Joseph P. Skorupa
Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

National Water Census: Regional Groundwater Availability Studies

The National Water Census includes regional analysis of groundwater availability, enabling information to be integrated and consistent so the resource can be analyzed and understood on an aquifer–wide scale.  The NWC also seeks to increase capacity to integrate groundwater and surface water into watershed-level assessments of water availability.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (NFM)

The National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (NFM) provides documented methods and protocols for USGS field personnel who collect water-quality data. The NFM provides detailed, comprehensive, and citable procedures for sampling water resources, processing samples for analysis of water quality, measuring field parameters, and specialized procedures.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Completed

Groundwater Quality in Principal Aquifers of the Nation, 1991–2010

What’s in your groundwater? Learn about groundwater quality in the Principal Aquifers of nine regions across the United States in informative circulars filled with figures, photos, and water-quality information.

Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: February 28, 2019
Status: Active

Health-Based Screening Levels for Evaluating Water-Quality Data

This searchable online database provides Health-Based Screening Levels (HBSLs) for hundreds of chemicals, including  pesticides and degradates. HBSLs are non-enforceable benchmark concentrations of contaminants in water. These screening levels supplement federal drinking-water standards and guidelines.

Attribution: Water Resources