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USGS Monthly Groundwater News and Highlights: June 1, 2020

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Feature: Fluoride occurrence in United States groundwater

 [Map of lower 48 states presenting point data of measured fluoride concentrations. ]

Fluoride concentrations in untreated groundwater from public-supply and domestic wells in the conterminous United States, sampled between 1988 and 2017. Source: Figure 1, McMahon and others, 2020.

USGS recently completed a study of data from 38,105 wells to characterize fluoride occurrence in U.S. groundwater. Fluoride concentrations above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) in untreated groundwater from wells that supply drinking water were infrequent. More than 85% of drinking-water wells had fluoride concentrations below the optimal fluoride concentration for preventing tooth decay recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service. The study identified eight factors that affect fluoride concentrations, including mean annual precipitation, pH, and well depth. Study results can be used to inform decision making by domestic-well owners and others.

Water Quality and COVID-19

For the latest federal guidance on water quality and COVID-19, please refer to:

USGS priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and community. Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we have shifted our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staffing within our offices. These changes have also impacted recent and planned field work and field data collection activities.

Animation of Groundwater Watch Active Water Level Network national US map

The USGS Active Groundwater Level Network includes about 20,000 wells that have been measured by the USGS or USGS cooperators at least once within the past 13 months. The animation shows a daily snapshot of water-level statistics in the network for May 2020. Credit: USGS. The image is in the public domain.

USGS Groundwater-Related Publications

Regional hydrostratigraphic framework of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and vicinity, New Jersey, in the context of perfluoroalkyl substances contamination of groundwater and surface water (05/29/20)

Precipitation runoff modeling system (PRMS) as part of an integrated hydrologic model for the Osage Nation, northeastern Oklahoma, 1915-2014 (05/21/20)

Quantifying trends in arsenic, nitrate, and dissolved solids from selected wells in Utah (05/21/20)

Local to landscape-level controls of water fluxes through Hawaiian forests: Effects of invasive animals and plants on soil infiltration capacity across substrate and moisture gradients (05/27/20)

Representing the function and sensitivity of coastal interfaces in Earth system models (05/19/20)

Groundwater quality in relation to drinking water health standards and geochemical characteristics for 54 domestic wells in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, 2017 (05/15/20)

Altitude of the potentiometric surface in the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer, spring 2018 (05/13/20)

Water-table elevation maps for 2008 and 2016 and water-table elevation changes in the aquifer system underlying eastern Albuquerque, New Mexico (05/13/20)

Inventory and analysis of groundwater resources: Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota (05/12/20)

Groundwater-quality and select quality-control data from the National Water-Quality Assessment Project, January through December 2016, and previously unpublished data from 2013 to 2015 (05/11/20)

Fluoride occurrence in United States groundwater (05/19/20)

Pilot-scale testing of dairy manure treatments to reduce nutrient transport from land application, northwest Ohio, 2015-17 (05/08/20)

Simulation of the probabilistic plume extent for a potential replacement wastewater-infiltration lagoon, and probabilistic contributing areas for supply wells for the Town of Lac du Flambeau, Vilas County, Wisconsin (05/08/20)

Chemical evaluation of water and gases collected from hydrothermal systems located in the central Aleutian arc, August 2015 (05/07/20)

Groundwater flow model for Western Chippewa County -- Including analysis of water resources related to industrial sand mining and irrigated agriculture (05/29/20)

Geohydrology and water quality of the unconsolidated aquifers in the Enfield Creek Valley, town of Enfield, Tompkins County, New York (05/14/20)


USGS Groundwater Flow and Transport Model Data Releases

GFLOW model files used to generate probabilistic waste-water plume extents and contributing areas to supply wells for a proposed waste-water infiltration lagoon scenario, Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin

Field Photo

Recently USGS hydrogeologists conducted a field visit to this well southwest of Winslow, Arizona. USGS has been measuring groundwater levels in the well since 1969. This well, the Winslow T well (USGS site 345603110450301), is part of the Coconino Aquifer Monitoring Program in the Little Colorado River Basin. The program monitors for any changes in aquifer conditions due to increased pumping and drought conditions. Current program partners include The Navajo Nation, the City of Flagstaff, and the USGS, along with other local and State agencies.

While USGS is currently operating at maximum telework, certain mission essential and critical field work has continued. We have implemented new safety and fieldwork processes to maintain social distancing to ensure the safety of our employees and communities.

[Photo of well house surrounded by wide open space, with reddish dirt and blue skies]

Credit: USGS/Casey Jones. Photo is in the public domain. Click on photo for larger version.

Archive of Past Highlights:

Past monthly summaries are available online.

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 01-Jun-2020 17:41:41 EDT