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Fact Sheet 2011–3062

Organic Compounds Assessed in Chattahoochee River Water Used for Public Supply near Atlanta, Georgia, 2004–05

Prepared as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program, Source Water-Quality Assessment

W. Brian Hughes and Cristal L. Younker


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An investigation by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program characterized the occurrence of 266 organic compounds in source water and finished water from the Chattahoochee River, which is the main water-supply source for the Atlanta metropolitan area. Source water is stream water collected at a surface-water intake prior to water treatment, and finished water is water that has passed through treatment processes prior to distribution. Samples were collected approximately monthly during 2004–05 and included 15 paired source-water and finished-water samples. Samples were collected during winter-spring high flow and summer-fall low flow, but storm events were not targeted during this Source Water-Quality Assessment (SWQA) study. Samples were analyzed for pesticides and degradates, gasoline hydrocarbons, solvents, disinfection by-products, personal care and domestic-use products, and other organic compounds. Community water systems are required to monitor regulated organic compounds under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996 (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1998); however, most compounds included in this study are not regulated by Federal drinking-water standards (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2007a). The Chattahoochee River study is part of an ongoing NAWQA investigation of community water systems across the United States. Additional details about the national study are given in Carter and others (2007).

First posted June 2, 2011

For additional information contact:
Brian Hughes
Georgia Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
3039 Amwiler Rd.
Suite 130
Atlanta, Ga. 30360-2824

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Suggested citation:

Hughes, W.B., Younker, C.L., 2011, Organic compounds assessed in Chattahoochee River water used for public supply near Atlanta, Georgia, 2004–05: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011–3062, 6 p.

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