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Water-quality data for the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system in the northern coast plain of New Jersey, 1923-86

June 2, 2015

Ground-water-quality data for the upper and middle aquifers of the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties are compiled for the period 1923-86. A total of 330 wells were sampled: 192 wells in the upper aquifer and 138 wells in the middle aquifer. Most of the complete water-quality analyses were collected after September 1984, as part of a regional ground-water assessment. Well-construction data for the sampled wells also are presented. Public-supply, domestic-supply, industrial, commercial, irrigation, and observation wells were sampled for the study. Field measurements made at the time of sample collection include water temperature, specific conductance , dissolved oxygen, pH, alkalinity, and bicarbonate concentration. Laboratory determinations include common ions, silica, dissolved solids, trace metals, volatile organic compounds, and pesticides. A quality-assurance program was followed to evaluate and assure the quality of the data.

The report also contains a table of lithologic and hydrologic characteristics of the geologic units in the study area, a table of chloride concentrations and field measurements from 1923-86, and statistical summaries of selected water-quality data for the upper and middle aquifers. Many constituents were found in a wide range of concentrations.

Water from more than 25 percent of the wells sampled contained lead concentrations above the detection limit of 10 ug/L (micrograms per liter). Included in this number are some wells that had lead concentrations greater than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) primary drinking-water regulation of 50 ug/L. Cadmium concentrations, although lower than lead concentrations, followed a similar pattern. Water from approximately 25 percent of the wells in the upper aquifer, contain cadmium concentrations equal to or greater than the detection limit of 1 ug/L.

Dissolved iron concentrations ranged from 5 ug/L to 480,000 ug/L. Water from more than 50 percent of the wells sampled contained iron concentrations in excess of the USEPA secondary drinking-water recommended limit of 300 ug/L.

Chloride concentrations greater than the USEPA secondary drinking-water recommended limit of 250 milligrams per liter were found in samples from wells located in the cities of Perth Amboy and South Amboy; in the boroughs of Keansburg, Sayreville, Keyport, and Union Beach; and in the townships of Old Bridge and Woodbridge.

Of 21 samples collected from wells screened in the upper aquifer and analyzed for 30 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 5 samples contained at least 1 VOC at or above the detection limit. In the middle aquifer, 12 of the 21 samples collected and analyzed for VOCs contained at least 1 VOC greater than the detection limit.

Concentrations of pesticides generally were low. Of the 43 samples collected from wells screened in the upper aquifer and analyzed for pesticides, 4 samples contained concentrations of pesticides at or greater than the detection limit. In the middle aquifer, 6 of 38 samples collected and analyzed for 32 pesticides had at least 1 pesticide with a concentration greater than the detection limit.

 

Citation Information

Publication Year 1989
Title Water-quality data for the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system in the northern coast plain of New Jersey, 1923-86
DOI
Authors Douglas A. Harriman, Daryll A. Pope, Alison D. Gordon
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype State or Local Government Series
Series Title
Series Number 19
Index ID 70159101
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization

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