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Groundwater conditions and studies in Georgia, 2008-2009

April 9, 2011

The U.S. Geological Survey collects groundwater data and conducts studies to monitor hydrologic conditions, better define groundwater resources, and address problems related to water supply, water use, and water quality. In Georgia, water levels were monitored continuously at 179 wells during 2008 and 181 wells during 2009. Because of missing data or short periods of record (less than 3 years) for several of these wells, a total of 161 wells are discussed in this report. These wells include 17 in the surficial aquifer system, 19 in the Brunswick aquifer and equivalent sediments, 66 in the Upper Floridan aquifer, 16 in the Lower Floridan aquifer and underlying units, 10 in the Claiborne aquifer, 1 in the Gordon aquifer, 11 in the Clayton aquifer, 12 in the Cretaceous aquifer system, 2 in Paleozoic-rock aquifers, and 7 in crystalline-rock aquifers. Data from the well network indicate that water levels generally rose during the 2008-2009 period, with water levels rising in 135 wells and declining in 26. In contrast, water levels declined over the period of record at 100 wells, increased at 56 wells, and remained relatively constant at 5 wells. In addition to continuous water-level data, periodic water-level measurements were collected and used to construct potentiometric-surface maps for the Upper Floridan aquifer in Camden, Charlton, and Ware Counties, Georgia, and adjacent counties in Florida during September 2008 and May 2009; in the Brunswick, Georgia area during July 2008 and July-August 2009; and in the City of Albany-Dougherty County, Georgia area during November 2008 and November 2009. In general, water levels in these areas were higher during 2009 than during 2008; however, the configuration of the potentiometric surfaces in each of the areas showed little change. Groundwater quality in the Floridan aquifer system is monitored in the Albany, Savannah, Brunswick, and Camden County areas of Georgia. In the Albany area, nitrate as nitrogen concentrations in the Upper Floridan aquifer during 2008-2009 generally increased, with concentrations in two wells above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 10-milligrams-per-liter (mg/L) drinking-water standard. In the Savannah area, measurement of specific conductance and chloride concentration in water samples from discrete depths in three wells completed in the Upper Floridan aquifer indicate that chloride concentrations in the Upper Floridan aquifer showed little change and remained below the 250 mg/L USEPA secondary drinking-water standard. Chloride concentrations in the Lower Floridan aquifer increased slightly at Tybee Island and Skidaway Island, remaining above the drinking-water standard. In the Brunswick area, maps showing the chloride concentration of water in the Upper Floridan aquifer were constructed using data collected from 28 wells during July 2008 and from 29 wells during July-August 2009, indicate that chloride concentrations remained above the USEPA secondary drinking-water standard in an approximately 2-square-mile area. During 2008-2009, chloride concentrations decreased, with a maximum decrease of 160 mg/L, in a well located in the northern part of the Brunswick area. In the Camden County area, chloride concentration during 2008-2009 was analyzed in water samples collected from eight wells, six of which were completed in the Upper Floridan aquifer and two in the Lower Floridan aquifer. In most of the wells sampled during this period, chloride concentrations did not appreciably change; however, since the closure of the Durango Paper Company in October 2002, chloride concentrations in the Upper Floridan aquifer near the paper mill decreased from a high of 184 mg/L in May 2002 to 41 mg/L in September 2009. Groundwater studies conducted in Georgia during 2008-2009 include the following: * evaluation of groundwater flow, water-quality, and water-level monitoring in the Augusta-Richmond County area; * evaluation of groundwater flow, water-quality, and water

Publication Year 2011
Title Groundwater conditions and studies in Georgia, 2008-2009
DOI 10.3133/sir20115048
Authors Michael F. Peck, David C. Leeth, Jaime A. Painter
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2011-5048
Index ID sir20115048
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization South Atlantic Water Science Center