Paper No. 59-3
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM
GROUNDWATER NITRATE CONTAMINATION IN UPPER GLACIAL AQUIFER IN SOUTH-EAST QUEENS, NEW YORK CITY
Groundwater is an important resource for the supply of water for human consumption. We could speak of it as a huge reservoir of drinking water; however, these waters are vulnerable to natural and anthropological contaminants such as nitrates which in some areas may exceed the permissible limit proposed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and thus pose a threat to public health. York College and its vicinity at Queens, New York City was selected as the site for this investigation because of its location in the rapidly urbanizing area which is vulnerable to flooding and where the practice of constructing drainage wells to reduce flooding in facilities built in subsurface such as basement, tunnels, etc. confronts the community with the use of contaminated water. The study utilizes data gathered in situ through three USGS shallow monitoring wells located in the York College parking lot. For the last couple of years groundwater has been collected and analyzed for nitrate (as NO3−), nitrite (as NO2−), phosphate (as PO43-), sulfate (as SO42−), silica (as SiO2), ammonium (NH4+), chloride (Cl-), and other parameters including pH, conductivity, salinity dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, redox potential, alkalinity, and fluctuating water level. Results obtained have been compared to the EPA standard drinking water specification, thus finding that parameters such as TDS and nitrate significantly exceeded the established limit levels up to 2 times. The time series study resumes with relaxation in safety regulations on COVID-19. The physical and chemical water quality data are being obtained for detail characterization particularly investigating the trend of nitrate previously observed with very high level with averages between 19.8 and 29.79 mg / L. This report can be used as baseline data to help design the storm water management plans which is one of the greatest concerns for residents in Queens.