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Corrosiveness of ground water in the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system of the New Jersey Coastal Plain

January 1, 1993

Ground water from the unconfined part of the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system in the New Jersey Coastal Plain typically is corrosive-- that is, it is acidic, soft, and has low concentrations of alkalinity. Corrosive ground water has the potential to leach trace elements and asbestos fibers from plumbing materials used in potable- water systems, thereby causing potentially harmful concentrations of these substances in drinking water. Corrosion indices were calculated from water-quality data for 370 wells in the unconfined Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system. Values of the Langelier Saturation Index are predominantly negative, indicating that the water is undersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate, and, therefore, is potentially corrosive. Values of the Aggressive Index, a similar estimator of the corrosiveness of water, range from 3.9 (highly corrosive) to 11.9 (moderately corrosive). The median Aggressive Index value calculated for the 370 wells is 6.0, a value that indicates that the water is highly corrosive. Moderately corrosive ground water is found in some coastal areas. Isolated instances of moderately corrosive water are found in northern Ocean County, and in Burlington, Camden, and Salem Counties. In the vicinity of Ocean County corrosion-index values change little with depth, but in Atlantic, Burlington, and Salem Counties the corrosiveness of ground water generally appears to decrease with depth. Analyses of standing tap water from newly constructed homes in the Coastal Plain show concentrations of lead and other trace elements are significantly higher than those in ambient ground water. The elevated trace-element concentrations are attributed to the corrosion of plumbing materials by ground water. Results of the tap-water analyses substantiate the corrosiveness of Kirkwood-Cohansey ground water, as estimated by corrosion-index values.

Publication Year 1993
Title Corrosiveness of ground water in the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system of the New Jersey Coastal Plain
DOI 10.3133/wri904180
Authors J. L. Barringer, G. R. Kish, A. J. Velnich
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 90-4180
Index ID wri904180
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse