Northeastern Section–41st Annual Meeting (20–22 March 2006)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:25 PM


HORVATH, Lisa and NIKITINA, Daria, Department of Earth Sciences, California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419,

The purpose of this study was to assess the groundwater quality of the Pike Run Watershed, located in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Determination of groundwater quality within this watershed is highly valuable since most residents use groundwater as their main water source, since public water is not available. 27 domestic wells and natural springs within the watershed were sampled, analyzed and compared with National Drinking Water Standards established by the EPA. Chemical analysis of the water included pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity (bicarbonate), hot acidity, conductivity, sulfate, iron, manganese, aluminum, calcium, and magnesium. These parameters were used after preliminary studies documented high levels of sulfate, magnesium, calcium, and iron at five selected sites within the study area. Water samples were analyzed at Heidelberg College's Water Quality Analytical Laboratory. Based on the history of intensive coal mining in the study area, we assumed that high concentration of above ions in the groundwater are related to acid mine drainage (AMD). AMD was documented as a non-point source pollutant of the surface water within the watershed. The chemistry of groundwater was also evaluated based on local stratigraphy, mineralogy and petrology of hydrologic units, stratigraphic position of aquafers, and possible locations of mining pools. Sample collection sites were georeferenced, chemical parameters and geologic information were inputted into GIS. Existing well log data were inputted into RockWorks software. These technological tools were used for spatial analysis of GW chemistry, local geology and abandoned mines. Based on the assessment of the data, it has been determined that aquifers lie within abandoned mined areas, and are being used as water supplies by local residents. Therefore, acid mine drainage is a non-point source pollutant of the groundwater within the watershed.