Why Some Public-Supply Wells Are More Vulnerable To Contamination Than
More than 100 million people in the United States - about 35 percent of the
population - receive their drinking water from public groundwater systems,
which can be vulnerable to naturally occurring contaminants such as radon,
uranium and arsenic, as well as commonly used manmade compounds, including
fertilizers, septic-tank leachate, solvents and gasoline hydrocarbons.
Public-supply well vulnerability to contamination starts with
to contamination. Even wells within a single
aquifer, however, may not be equally vulnerable to contaminants in the
aquifer because individual wells produce unique mixtures of the groundwater.
This USGS video podcast uses examples from four locations with very different
aquifer-well combinations to illustrate why some public-supply wells are more
vulnerable to contaminants in aquifers than others.
For more information on how the science behind public-supply well vulnerability
to contamination can be used to protect drinking water sources, please refer to
the accompanying USGS fact sheets below.