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Open-File Report 2012–1045

Prepared in cooperation with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Groundwater Quality in the Upper Susquehanna River Basin, New York, 2009

By James E. Reddy and Amy J. Risen

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (4.95 MB)Abstract

Water samples were collected from 16 production wells and 14 private residential wells in the Upper Susquehanna River Basin from August through December 2009 and were analyzed to characterize the groundwater quality in the basin. Wells at 16 of the sites were completed in sand and gravel aquifers, and 14 were finished in bedrock aquifers. In 2004–2005, six of these wells were sampled in the first Upper Susquehanna River Basin study. Water samples from the 2009 study were analyzed for 10 physical properties and 137 constituents that included nutrients, organic carbon, major inorganic ions, trace elements, radionuclides, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, and 4 types of bacterial analyses. Results of the water-quality analyses are presented in tabular form for individual wells, and summary statistics for specific constituents are presented by aquifer type. The results are compared with Federal and New York State drinking-water standards, which typically are identical. The results indicate that groundwater genrally is of acceptable quality, although concentrations of some constituents exceeded at least one drinking-water standard at 28 of the 30 wells. These constituents include: pH, sodium, aluminum, manganese, iron, arsenic, radon-222, residue on evaporation, total and fecal coliform including Escherichia coli and heterotrophic plate count.

First posted April 10, 2012

For additional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
New York Water Science Center
425 Jordan Road
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 285-5600

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Suggested citation:

Reddy, J.E., and Risen, A.J., 2012, Groundwater quality in the Upper Susquehanna River Basin, New York, 2009: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1045, 29 p., at




Purpose and Scope

Study Area


Groundwater Quality

Physical Properties and Dissolved Gases

Major Ions

Nutrients and Organic Carbon

Trace Elements and Radiochemicals


Volatile Organic Compounds


Wells Sampled in 2004 and 2009


References Cited


Tables 1–1 Through 1–13

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