USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5017

Ground-Water Conditions and Studies in Georgia, 2004—2005

By David C. Leeth, Michael F. Peck, and Jaime A. Painter

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5017; 299 pages (Published March 2007)

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects ground-water data and conducts studies to monitor hydrologic conditions, better define ground-water resources, and address problems related to water supply, water use, and water quality. During 2004–2005, ground-water levels were monitored continuously in a network of 183 wells completed in major aquifers throughout the State. Because of missing data or the short period of record for a number of these wells (less than 3 years), a total of 171 wells from the network are discussed in this report. These wells include 19 in the surficial aquifer system, 20 in the Brunswick aquifer system and equivalent sediments, 69 in the Upper Floridan aquifer, 17 in the Lower Floridan aquifer and underlying units, 10 in the Claiborne aquifer, 1 in the Gordon aquifer, 10 in the Clayton aquifer, 12 in the Cretaceous aquifer system, 2 in Paleozoic-rock aquifers, and 11 in crystalline-rock aquifers. Data from the network indicate that generally water levels rose after the end of a drought (fall 2002), with water levels in 152 of the wells in the normal or above-normal range by 2005. An exception to this pattern of water-level recovery is in the Cretaceous aquifer system where water levels in 7 of the 12 wells monitored were below normal during 2005.

In addition to continuous water-level data, periodic synoptic water-level measurements were collected and used to construct potentiometric-surface maps for the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Camden County–Charlton County area during September 2004 and May 2005, in the Brunswick area during June 2004 and June 2005, and in the City of Albany–Dougherty County area during October 2004 and during October 2005. In general, the configuration of the potentiometric surfaces showed little change during 2004–2005 in each of the areas.

Ground-water quality in the Upper Floridan aquifer is monitored in the Albany, Savannah, and Brunswick areas, and in Camden County; and the Lower Floridan aquifer, monitored in the Savannah and Brunswick areas and in Camden County. In the Albany area, nitrate concentrations generally increased since the end of the drought during 2002. Concentrations increased in water collected from 13 of the 16 wells sampled during 2004–2005 and by November 2005, water from 2 wells had nitrate as N concentrations that were above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) 10-milligram-per-liter (mg/L) drinking-water standard.

In the Savannah area, measurement of fluid conductivity and chloride concentration in water samples from discrete depths in three wells completed in the Upper Floridan aquifer and one well in the Lower Floridan aquifer were used to assess changes in water quality in the Savannah area. At Tybee Island, chloride concentrations in samples from the Lower Floridan aquifer increased during 2004–2005 and were above the 250-mg/L USEPA drinking-water standard. At Skidaway Island, water in the Upper Floridan aquifer is fresh, and chloride concentrations did not appreciably change during 2004–2005. However, chloride concentrations in samples collected from the Lower Floridan aquifer during 2004–2005 showed disparate changes; whereby, chloride concentration increased in the deepest sampled interval (1,070 feet) and decreased in a shallower sampled interval (900 feet). At Fort Pulaski, water samples collected from the Upper Floridan aquifer are fresh and did not appreciably change during 2004–2005.

In the Brunswick area, maps showing the chloride concentration of water in the Upper Floridan aquifer were constructed using data collected from 41 wells during June 2004 and from 39 wells during June 2005. Analyses indicate that concentrations remained above the USEPA drinking-water standard in an approximate 2-square-mile area. During 2004–2005, chloride concentrations increased in samples from 18 wells and decreased in samples from 11 wells.

In the Camden County area, chloride concentrations during 2004–2005 were analyzed in water samples collected from eight wells, six completed in the Upper Floridan aquifer and two in the Lower Floridan aquifer. For most of the wells sampled during this period, chloride concentrations did not appreciably change; however, since the closure of the Durango Paper Mill during October 2002, chloride concentrations in the Upper Floridan aquifer near the mill decreased from a high of 184 mg/L during May 2002 to 52 mg/L during September 2005.

Ground-water studies during 2004–2005 include

Technical highlights from selected USGS studies during 2004–2005 include an assessment of the hydrogeology and results from aquifer tests in the Brunswick and surficial aquifer systems at sites in Long and McIntosh Counties in coastal Georgia; revisions to potentiometric-surface maps of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the southwestern Albany area based on more accurate land-surface altitudes; and the influence that low-angle lithologic contacts and thrust faults have on ground-water flow in the crystalline-rock aquifer system of Rockdale County. Finally, selected publications, technical presentations, and outreach activities during 2004–2005 are summarized.




Purpose and Scope

Methods of Analysis, Sources of Data, and Data Accuracy

Georgia Well-Naming System

Cooperating Organizations and Agencies

Ground-Water Resources

Permitted Water-Use Data for Georgia during 2005 and Ground-Water-Use Trends for 2001–2005

Ground-Water Conditions

Ground-Water Levels

Surficial Aquifer System

Brunswick Aquifer System

Upper Floridan Aquifer

Southwestern Area

City of Albany–Dougherty County Area

South-Central Area

East-Central Area

Northern Coastal Area

Central Coastal Area

City of Brunswick Area

Southern Coastal Area

Lower Floridan Aquifer and Underlying Units in Coastal Georgia

Claiborne and Gordon Aquifers

Clayton Aquifer

Cretaceous Aquifer System

Paleozoic-Rock Aquifers

Crystalline-Rock Aquifers

Ground-Water Quality of the Upper and Lower Floridan Aquifers

City of Albany Area

City of Savannah Area

City of Brunswick Area

Camden County Area

Selected Ground-Water Studies in Georgia, 2004–2005

Assessment of Ground-Water Flow near the Savannah River Site, Georgia and South Carolina

City of Albany Cooperative Water Program

City of Brunswick and Glynn County Cooperative Water Program

Georgia Coastal Sound Science Initiative

Effects of Impoundment of Lake Seminole on Water Resources in the Lower Apalachicola–Chattahoochee–Flint River Basin and in Parts of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia

Hydrogeologic Assessment and Simulation of Stream-Aquifer Relations in the Lower Apalachicola–Chattahoochee–Flint River Basin

Ground-Water Information and Project Support

Ground-Water Resources and Hydrogeology of Crystalline-Rock Aquifers in Rockdale County, North-Central Georgia

Sustainability of Ground-Water Resources in the City of Lawrenceville Area

Technical Highlights

Potentiometric Surface of the Upper Floridan Aquifer in the Southwestern Albany Area, Georgia, 1998–2005, Based on Revised Land-Surface Altitudes by Debbie Warner Gordon

Hydrogeology, Hydraulic Properties, and Water Quality of the Surficial and Brunswick Aquifer Systems, McIntosh County, Georgia, May and November 2004 by Sherlyn Priest

Hydrogeology, Hydraulic Properties, and Water Quality of the Surficial and Brunswick Aquifer Systems Near the City of Ludowici, Long County, Georgia, July 2003 by Sherlyn Priest and Gregory S. Cherry

Influence of Low-Angle Lithologic Contacts and Thrust Faults on Ground-Water Flow in a Crystalline-Rock Aquifer System, Rockdale County, Georgia by Lester J. Williams and Alan M. Cressler

Selected Ground-Water Publications, Conferences, and Outreach, 2004–2005


Georgia Water-Resources Conference for 2005

Other Conferences and Outreach Events

Selected USGS Reports and Conference Proceedings Articles

USGS Reports

2005 Georgia Water Resources Conference Proceedings Papers

Appendix. Graphical and Statistical Summaries of Water Levels from Wells in Georgia


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