Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013NC182B

Surface and Subsurface Properties Regulating Manganese Contamination of Groundwater in the North Carolina Piedmont

Institute: North Carolina
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $23,111 Total Non-Federal Funds: $67,789

Principal Investigators: Matthew Polizzotto, Aziz Ammozegar, Robert Austin, Rick Bolich, Phil Bradley, Owen Duckworth, Dean Hesterberg

Abstract: Manganese (Mn) is a naturally occurring contaminant of increasing concern in groundwater of the North Carolina Piedmont, as nearly half of the wells sampled in the region have concentrations exceeding the state’s drinking water standard. Whereas the health and engineering impacts related to Mn in groundwater are coming into focus, the factors controlling Mn distributions remain poorly understood. Our overall goals are to determine the causes for elevated Mn concentrations in well water and develop decision-making tools that may be used to help reduce Mn exposure to people across the North Carolina Piedmont. We will address current information gaps by describing the hydrogeochemical environment of contaminated aquifers, identifying Mn sources, and examining the spatial variability of Mn concentrations in well water. The application of information gleaned from this project to existing spatial datasets will facilitate the development of groundwater vulnerability maps for Mn that benefit policy makers, engineers, and researchers who manage the supply and safety of drinking water sources.