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Data Series 649

Prepared in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Ecology and Kittitas County

Groundwater Levels for Selected Wells in Upper Kittitas County, Washington

By E.T. Fasser and R.J. Julich

Conversion Factors

Multiply By To obtain
foot (ft) 0.3048 meter (m)
mile (mi) 1.609 kilometer (km)
acre 0.4047 hectare (ha)
acre 0.004047 square kilometer (km2)
Section (640 acres or 1 mile2) 259.0 square hectometer (hm2)
square mile (mi2) 259.0 hectare (ha)
square mile (mi2) 2.590 square kilometer (km2)


Vertical coordinate information is referenced to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88).

Horizontal coordinate information is referenced to the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83).

Altitude, as used in this report, refers to distance above the vertical datum.


Groundwater levels for selected wells in Upper Kittitas County, Washington, are presented on an interactive, web-based map to document the spatial distribution of groundwater levels in the study area measured during spring 2011. Groundwater-level data and well information were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey using standard techniques and are stored in the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System, Groundwater Site-Inventory database.


This report describes part of a larger cooperative study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Washington State Department of Ecology, and Kittitas County to (1) characterize the hydrogeologic setting of the Upper Kittitas County study area (fig. 1), (2) better understand the availability of groundwater in the basin, and (3) assess the interaction of groundwater and surface water within the study area. Accurate well locations and identification of their respective logs are essential in the characterization of the hydrogeologic setting. The measurement of groundwater levels is an important component to develop a better understanding of the groundwater-flow system in the study area.

Purpose and Scope

This report presents groundwater levels and associated well information obtained from a USGS field inventory of 196 wells in the Upper Kittitas County study area. During the field inventory (April–May 2011), all groundwater-level measurements were made by personnel from the USGS Washington and Oregon Water Science Centers using standard techniques described in Drost (2005). In August 2011, groundwater levels were measured again at a subset of 43 wells. These data and additional information about well construction and lithology from drillers’ logs are stored in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), Groundwater Site-Inventory (GWSI) database. The groundwater-level data collected during the field inventory document the spatial distribution of water levels in the study area during spring 2011, and will be used along with the lithologic information from drillers’ logs to develop a better understanding of the groundwater-flow system in the area. Selected wells will be monitored monthly to document changes in water levels and to help characterize the interaction of groundwater and surface water within representative parts of the study area.

Well-Numbering System

Wells in the study area were assigned a unique well local number that locates and identifies each well within the Public Land Survey rectangular grid system for Washington State (fig. 2). For example, given the well number 19N/14E-03C01D1, the number and letter preceding the slash (19N) indicates the township north of the Willamette Base Line. The number and letter between the slash and the hyphen (14E) indicates the range east of the Willamette Meridian. The number following the hyphen (03) indicates the section number within the township. (Most townships in the study area are divided into thirty-six 1 mi2 sections; however, Washington Territory Donation Land Claims of 1852–55 predate the Public Land Survey and are not regular 1 mi2 sections. These early donation Land Claims are depicted on maps as irregular sized and shaped sections and are assigned sequenced numbers greater than 36.) The letter following the section number (C) indicates the 40-acre subdivision within the section. The number following the letter (01) is the sequence number used to distinguish individual wells in the same 40-acre subdivision. A “D” following the sequence number indicates a well that has been deepened.

Well Locations and Water Levels

Well locations are plotted on an interactive image of the study area located at The map image can be manipulated using the buttons in the upper-left corner of the image or by clicking with the mouse to pan and double-clicking to zoom. Holding the cursor over a plotted well site opens a message box that displays the local well number. A listing of all wells shown on the map is presented on table 1. Clicking on the well location will provide another dialog box including information about the well location, elevation, depth, and water level where available. A link to the National Water Information System is also presented, and provides any additional information about the site.


The authors wish to thank the many individual well owners, local businesses, and local, tribal, and state governments for their cooperation in providing access to wells.

References Cited

Drost, B.W., 2005, Quality-assurance plan for ground-water activities, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington Water Science Center: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-1126, 27 p.

First posted November 10, 2011

For additional information contact:
Director, Washington Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
934 Broadway, Suite 300
Tacoma, WA 98402

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Fasser, E.T., and Julich, R.J., 2011, Groundwater levels for selected wells in Upper Kittitas County, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 649.

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