Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Fact Sheet 2007-3102

Monitoring of Sparta Aquifer Recovery in Southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana, 2003–07

By David A. Freiwald, U.S. Geological Survey, and Sherrel F. Johnson, Union County Water Conservation Board

Thumbnail of and link to Fact Sheet PDF (2.32 MB)Download Publication
Fact Sheet
2007-3102 PDF (2.32 MB)

Prior to 2004, the Sparta aquifer supplied all water for industrial and municipal uses in Union County, Arkansas, and continues to provide the majority of water for industrial and municipal purposes in the surrounding southern Arkansas counties and northern Louisiana parishes. In Union County, the Sparta aquifer has been used increasingly since development began in the early 1920s, resulting in water-level declines of more than 360 feet (ft) near El Dorado, Arkansas. In addition, water quality in some areas of the Sparta aquifer has degraded with increased withdrawals.

In 2002 a study began that measures, through monitoring and reporting of water levels in Sparta aquifer wells throughout the study area in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana, the impact of conservation and alternative water efforts on water level and water quality. This study provides continuous real-time water-level data at eight USGS wells that are part of a network of 29 monitoring wells and periodically reports results of semi-annual water-quality sampling. Water levels have risen in all eight real-time wells since monitoring began in the summer of 2003, and the Ouachita River Alternative Water Supply Project was completed in September 2004. The largest water-level rises occurred between October 2004 and April 2007 in the Monsanto well (49.0 ft rise) just north of El Dorado, and the Welcome Center well (36.1 ft rise) southeast of El Dorado. Twelve wells were sampled semi-annually for specific conductance and chloride concentration. Average specific conductance from individual wells ranges from 216 in the northwest to 1,157 uS/cm in the southeast and average chloride concentration ranges from 3.2 to 214 mg/L.

Version 1.0

Posted February 2008

Suggested citation:

Freiwald, D.A., and Johnson, S.F., 2007, Monitoring of Sparta aquifer recovery in Southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana, 2003–07: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2007–3102, 4 p.



Ground-Water Level Monitoring

Water-Quality Monitoring


For additional information contact:
Director, USGS Arkansas Water Science Center
401 Hardin Road
Little Rock, AR 72211

World Wide Web:
Document Accessibility: Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Acrobat Reader, free of charge or go to for free tools that allow visually impaired users to read PDF files.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America home page. FirstGov button U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Questions or Assistance: Contact USGS
Last modified: Tuesday, 29-Nov-2016 18:08:52 EST