National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project

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Quality of Water from Domestic Wells in the United States

by Leslie A. DeSimone, Pixie A. Hamilton, and Robert J. Gilliom

This study from the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assesses water-quality conditions for about 2,100 domestic wells across the United States. As many as 219 properties and contaminants, including pH, major ions, nutrients, trace elements, radon, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds, were measured. Fecal indicator bacteria and additional radionuclides were analyzed for a smaller number of wells. The large number of contaminants assessed and the broad geographic coverage of the present study provides a foundation for an improved understanding of the quality of water from the major aquifers tapped by domestic supply wells in the United States.

The results of this study are described in two USGS publications, including an overview of the study findings (Circular 1332) and a detailed technical report on data sources, analyses, and results (Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5227). Both publications can be downloaded in PDF format from the NAWQA website (see below). Also available in PDF format are two related articles in the Water Well Journal of the National Ground Water Association, which briefly summarize USGS study findings and general information on domestic well maintenance, siting, and testing.


Press Release


Maps, graphics, and tables

Frequently Asked Questions

Presentation of Findings to Congress on March 27, 2009
       -- Power point slides
       -- Text to accompany power point slides


Related links:

For additional information on the study, please contact:

Leslie DeSimone
U.S. Geological Survey
10 Bearfoot Road
Northborough, MA 01532
Phone: (508)490-5023

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