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Geohydrology and water quality of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, 1986-88

By: Rheaume, S.J.


Thick, glacial sand and gravel deposits provide most groundwater supplies in Kalamazoo County. Most industry, public supply, and irrigation wells completed at depths of 100 to 200 ft yield 1,000 gallons per minute (gpm) or more. Groundwater levels in Kalamazoo County reflect short-term and long-term changes in precipitation and local pumpage. Groundwater levels increase in the spring and decline in the fall. Recharge rates, for different geologic settings, were estimated from groundwater runoff to the streams. A county-wide average groundwater recharge rate is estimated to be 9.32 in/yr. Water of streams and rivers of Kalamazoo County is predominantly of the calcium bicarbonate type, although dissolved sulfate concentrations are slightly larger in streams in the southeastern and northwestern parts of the county. Concentrations of dissolved chloride in streams draining urban industrial areas are slightly larger than at other locations. Concentrations of total nitrogen and total phosphorus in streams are directly proportional to streamflow. Except for elevated concentrations of iron, none of the trace elements in streams exceeded maximum contaminant levels for drinking water established by the US EPA. Pesticides were detected in some streams. Groundwater in the surficial aquifers is of the calcium bicarbonate type, although sodium, sulfate, and chloride ions predominate at some locations. Concentrations of dissolved sodium and dissolved chloride in 6 wells were greater than most natural groundwaters in the State, indicating possible contamination from road salts. Water samples from 6 of the 46 wells sampled contained concentrations of total nitrate as nitrogen > 10.0 mg/L. Pesticides were detected in water from only one well. Water from five wells contained volatile organics. (Lantz-PTT)

RECORD ID: 9111091

F&G CODE: 02f; 02e

Rheaume, S.J., 1990, Geohydrology and water quality of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, 1986-88: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 90-4028, 102 p.

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