|2012 GSA Annual Meeting in Charlotte|
|Paper No. 188-10|
|Presentation Time: 3:45 PM-4:00 PM|
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE QUALITY OF WATER AND POTENTIAL COST TO THE CONSUMER FOR WATER SUPPLIES FROM THE GLACIAL AQUIFER SYSTEM
WARNER, Kelly, U.S. Geological Survey, 1201 W. University Avenue, Suite 100, Urbana, IL 61801, firstname.lastname@example.org, AYOTTE, Joseph D., U.S. Geological Survey, 331 Commerce Way, Pembroke, NH 03275, and WARNER, Mary E., Knox College, 2 East South Street, Galesburg, IL 61401|
The quality of water used for drinking from the glacial aquifer, although generally good, is variable and may not always be suitable for use because it can contain contaminants from a variety of sources. This may result in the need to treat the water to make it suitable for use.
In agricultural areas where tile drains are used to lower the water table and make land arable, tile drains intercept groundwater and contaminants near the water table and redirect them to rivers. An unintended consequence is that public-supply wells near rivers capture those river-borne contaminants, through induced infiltration. If the contaminants captured reach levels that require additional treatment, the cost of treatment can increase.
Arsenic, derived from geologic sources, also affects drinking water in the glacial aquifer. Treating water to reduce arsenic concentrations to values lower than the MCL comes at an increase in costs to consumers. About 11 percent of domestic well users (or an estimated 1 million people) have arsenic greater than 10 micrograms per liter; however, this number would increase to an estimated 2.5 million if a standard of 3 were adopted and to an estimated 4 million if the standard was lowered to 1 microgram per liter. Additionally, the costs to consumers are higher proportionally for smaller suppliers than for larger ones, further increasing the costs.
In addition, nuisance constituents in groundwater often limit water use, particularly in private wells. Three-quarters of samples from drinking-water wells contained nuisance constituents, such as iron, manganese, chloride, sodium, sulfate, and aluminum, at concentrations exceeding the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Although the glacial aquifer system provides a plentiful supply of groundwater, these constituents cause many consumers to abandon their well water and purchase drinking water costing hundreds of dollars per year. Additionally, deposits in pipes and corrosion add to costly home repairs.
2012 GSA Annual Meeting in Charlotte
General Information for this Meeting
|Session No. 188|
Recent Advances in Geology & Health
Charlotte Convention Center: 212AB
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 44, No. 7, p. 452
© Copyright 2012 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.