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Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5084

Groundwater Conditions in Georgia, 2010–2011

By Michael F. Peck, Debbie W. Gordon, and Jaime A. Painter

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Abstract

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 186 wells during calendar year 2010 and at 181 wells during calendar year 2011. Because of missing data or short periods of record (less than 3 years) for several of these wells, a total of 168 wells are discussed in this report. These wells include 17 in the surficial aquifer system, 19 in the Brunswick aquifer system and equivalent sediments, 70 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, 14 in the Cretaceous aquifer system, 2 in Paleozoic-rock aquifers, and 8 in crystalline-rock aquifers. Data from the well network indicate that water levels generally declined during the 2010 through 2011 calendar-year period, with water levels declining in 158 wells and rising in 10. Water levels declined over the period of record at 106 wells, increased at 56 wells, and remained relatively constant at 6 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 May–June 2010, and in the following areas in Georgia: the Brunswick area during August 2010 and August 2011, in the Albany–Dougherty County area during November 2010 and November 2011, and in the Augusta–Richmond County area during October 2010 and August 2011. In general, water levels in these areas were lower during 2011 than during 2010; 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, and Brunswick areas of Georgia. In the Albany area, nitrate as nitrogen concentrations in the Upper Floridan aquifer during 2011 generally decreased from 2010; however, concentrations in two wells remained above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 10-milligrams-per-liter (mg/L) drinking-water standard. In the Savannah area, specific conductance and chloride concentrations were measured in water samples from discrete depths in two wells completed in the Upper Floridan aquifer. Data from the two wells indicate that chloride concentrations in the Upper Floridan aquifer showed little change during calendar years 2010 through 2011 and remained below the 250 mg/L USEPA secondary drinking-water standard. During calendar years 2010 through 2011, 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 constructed using data collected from 32 wells during August 2010 and from 30 wells during August 2011 indicate that chloride concentrations remained above the USEPA secondary drinking-water standard in an approximately 2-square-mile area. During calendar years 2010 through 2011, chloride concentrations generally decreased in over 70 percent of the wells sampled during 2011, with a maximum decrease of 200 mg/L in a well located in the north-central part of the Brunswick area.

First posted May 3, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, USGS Georgia Water Science Center
1770 Corporate Drive, Suite 500
Norcross, GA 30093
678–924–6700
http://ga.water.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Peck, M.F., Gordon, D.W., and Painter, J.A., 2013, Groundwater conditions in Georgia, 2010–2011: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5084, 63 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5084/.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Groundwater Conditions

Appendix. Regression Statistics


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