Preliminary evaluation of the Highland Rim aquifer system in Tennessee for receiving injected wastes

U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4252

by Michael W. Bradley

This report is available as a pdf below


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect underground sources of drinking water from contamination by deep well injection. An aquifer, however, may be exempted from protection and used for injected wastes where the aquifer meets criteria established in the Agency’s Underground Injection Control program.

The Highland Rim aquifer system in Tennessee consists of Mississippian age carbonate rocks and occurs from the Valley and Ridge of East Tennessee to west of the Tennessee River. This aquifer contains potable water and is an important source of drinking water for municipal and domestic supplies on the Highland Rim. The Highland Rim aquifer system under parts of the Cumberland Plateau is not currently used as a source of drinking water and is not expected to be used in the future. These areas meet parts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Underground Injection Control criteria for exempting aquifers to receive injected waste.

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