A wide variety of human activities has the potential to contaminate groundwater. In addition, naturally occurring constituents in groundwater can limit the suitability of that water for some uses. Baseline groundwater-quality data can be used to facilitate analysis of water-quality trends over time and to understand the effects of human activities. Such information is an important tool for protecting groundwater resources that are crucial for drinking water and other uses.
The USGS is working in cooperation with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality on the Wyoming Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network, the goal of which is to collect water-quality samples at 20-30 wells within each of 33 priority areas (Boughton, 2011). The project entails sampling existing shallow (less than or equal to 500 feet deep) wells to evaluate groundwater in priority areas where groundwater has been identified as an important source of drinking water for public and private water supplies, is susceptible to contamination, and is overlain by one or multiple land-use activities that could have negative effects on groundwater resources. Funding from the WLCI allows for additional wells to be sampled in priority areas within the Green River watershed.
Levels of numerous constituents in groundwater samples collected for the Wyoming Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network have exceeded State and Federal water-quality standards. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is using these data to determine whether groundwater quality is being adversely affected by overlying land uses, including oil and gas development. The outcomes of this work are expected to contribute baseline groundwater-quality data in support of the WLCI management need for an integrated inventory and monitoring strategy. Since FY2009, groundwater samples have been collected and analyzed from 26 (1 of which was resampled) wells in the Green River watershed, including 3 wells sampled in FY2014. All of the data are available on the USGS National Water Information System Web site at http://bit.ly/1ELgNcy.
Boughton, G.K., 2011, Wyoming groundwater-quality monitoring network: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011-3041, 4 p. [Also available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2011/3041/.]
Products Completed in FY2014
Products Completed in FY2013
Products Completed in FY2012
Products Completed in FY2011
Products Completed in FY2010
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