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Hydrology and Land Use in Grand Traverse County, Michigan, 1990

By: Cummings, T.R.


Glacial deposits are the sole source of groundwater supplies in Grand Traverse County, MI. Sedimentary rocks which underlie the glacial deposits are mostly shale and are not used for water supply. Of the glacial deposits, outwash and lacustrine sand are the most productive aquifers. Most domestic wells obtain water from sand and gravel at depths ranging from 50 to 150 ft and yield at least 20 gal/min. Irrigation, municipal, and industrial wells capable of yielding 250 gal/min or more are generally greater than 150 ft deep. Where moranial deposits contain large amounts of interbedded silt and clay, wells are generally deeper and yields are much lower. Areal variations in the chemical and physical characteristics of ground and surface water are related to land use and chemical inputs to the hydrologic system. Information on fertilizer application, septic-tank discharges, animal wastes, and precipitation indicates that 40% of nitrogen input is from precipitation, 6% from septic tanks, 14% from animal wastes, and 40% from fertilizers. Streams and lakes generally have a calcium bicarbonate-type water. The dissolved solids concentration of streams range from 116 to 380 mg/L, and that of lakes, from 47 to 170 mg/L. Stream water is hard to very hard, and lake water ranges from soft to hard. The maximum total nitrogen concentration found in streams was 4.4 mg/L. Lake waters have low nitrogen concentrations, with the median nitrate concentration is < 0.01 mg/L. Pesticides (Parathion and Simazine) were detected in low concentrations at six stream sites; 2,4-D was detected in low concentrations in water from two of the lakes. Relationships between land use and the yield of dissolved and suspended substances could not be established for most stream basins. Calcium and bicarbonate are the principal dissolved substances in groundwater. Dissolved solids concentrations ranged from 70 to 700 mg/L; the countywide mean concentration is 230 mg/L. About 1.6% of the county's groundwater has nitrate concentrations that exceed the EPA's maximum drinking water level of 10 mg/L. (Author's abstract)

RECORD ID: 9206533

F&G CODE: 05b; 04c; 02f

Cummings, T.R., Gillespie, J.L., and Grannemann, N.G., 1990, Hydrology and land use in Grand Traverse County, Michigan: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 90-4122, 99 p.

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