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Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5048

Groundwater Conditions and Studies in Georgia, 2008–2009

Michael F. Peck, David C. Leeth, and Jaime A. Painter


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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 179 wells during 2008 and 181 wells during 2009. Because of missing data or short periods of record (less than 3 years) for several of these wells, a total of 161 wells are discussed in this report. These wells include 17 in the surficial aquifer system, 19 in the Brunswick aquifer and equivalent sediments, 66 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, 12 in the Cretaceous aquifer system, 2 in Paleozoic-rock aquifers, and 7 in crystalline-rock aquifers. Data from the well network indicate that water levels generally rose during the 2008–2009 period, with water levels rising in 135 wells and declining in 26. In contrast, water levels declined over the period of record at 100 wells, increased at 56 wells, and remained relatively constant at 5 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 September 2008 and May 2009; in the Brunswick, Georgia area during July 2008 and July–August 2009; and in the City of Albany–Dougherty County, Georgia area during November 2008 and November 2009. In general, water levels in these areas were higher during 2009 than during 2008; 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, Brunswick, and Camden County areas of Georgia. In the Albany area, nitrate as nitrogen concentrations in the Upper Floridan aquifer during 2008–2009 generally increased, with concentrations in two wells above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 10-milligrams-per-liter (mg/L) drinking-water standard. In the Savannah area, measurement of specific conductance and chloride concentration in water samples from discrete depths in three wells completed in the Upper Floridan aquifer indicate that chloride concentrations in the Upper Floridan aquifer showed little change and remained below the 250 mg/L USEPA secondary drinking-water standard. 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 were constructed using data collected from 28 wells during July 2008 and from 29 wells during July–August 2009, indicate that chloride concentrations remained above the USEPA secondary drinking-water standard in an approximately 2-square-mile area. During 2008–2009, chloride concentrations decreased, with a maximum decrease of 160 mg/L, in a well located in the northern part of the Brunswick area.

In the Camden County area, chloride concentration during 2008–2009 was analyzed in water samples collected from eight wells, six of which were completed in the Upper Floridan aquifer and two in the Lower Floridan aquifer. In most of the wells sampled during this period, chloride concentrations did not appreciably change; however, since the closure of the Durango Paper Company in October 2002, chloride concentrations in the Upper Floridan aquifer near the paper mill decreased from a high of 184 mg/L in May 2002 to 41 mg/L in September 2009.

Groundwater studies conducted in Georgia during 2008–2009 include the following:

  • evaluation of groundwater flow, water-quality, and water-level monitoring in the Augusta–Richmond County area;
  • evaluation of groundwater flow, water-quality, and water-level monitoring in the City of Albany–Dougherty County area;
  • evaluation of saltwater intrusion, water-level, and water-quality monitoring in the City of Brunswick–Glynn County area;
  • collection of groundwater data in and adjacent to the State of Georgia;
  • assessment of the sustainability of groundwater resources in the City of Lawrenceville area;
  • evaluation of alternative groundwater resources, flow, water quality, and water-level monitoring Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart, Georgia; and
  • evaluation and quality assurance of agricultural pumpage in Georgia.

First posted March 28, 2011

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

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Suggested citation:

Peck, M.F., Leeth, D.C., and Painter, J.A., 2011, Groundwater conditions and studies in Georgia, 2008–2009; U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5048, 83 p.




Purpose and Scope

Methods of Analysis, Sources of Data, and Data Accuracy

Georgia Well-Identification System

Cooperating Organizations and Agencies

Groundwater Resources

Permitted Water-Use Data for Georgia during 2009 and Groundwater-Use Trends for 2005–2009

Groundwater Conditions

Groundwater Levels

Surficial Aquifer System

Brunswick Aquifer System

Upper Floridan Aquifer

Southwestern Area

City of Albany–Dougherty County Area

South-Central Area

East-Central Area

Northern Coastal Area

Central Coastal Area

City of Brunswick Area

Southern Coastal Area

Lower Floridan Aquifer and Underlying Units in Coastal Georgia

Claiborne and Gordon Aquifers

Clayton Aquifer

Cretaceous Aquifer System

Paleozoic-Rock Aquifers

Crystalline-Rock Aquifers

Groundwater Quality in the Upper and Lower Floridan Aquifers

City of Albany Area

City of Savannah Area

City of Brunswick Area

Real-Time Specific Conductance Monitoring in Brunswick Area

Camden County Area

Selected Groundwater Studies in Georgia, 2008–2009

City of Albany Cooperative Water Program

Groundwater Monitoring Program for the Augusta–Richmond County Area

City of Brunswick and Glynn County Cooperative Water Program

Fort Stewart–Hunter Army Airfield Alternative Water Resources

Monitoring of Groundwater and Surface-Water Resources in the City of Lawrenceville Area

Georgia Agricultural Water-Use Project

Groundwater Information and Project Support

Selected Groundwater Publications, Conferences, and Outreach, 2008–2009

Georgia Water Resources Conference for 2009

Other Conferences and Outreach Events

Selected U.S. Geological Survey Reports and Conference Proceedings Articles

U.S. Geological Survey Reports

2009 Georgia Water Resources Conference Proceedings Papers

Appendix. Regression Statistics

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

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