The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be seeking permission from select local residents near Vienna, Mo., to conduct ground water measurements in their domestic wells.
scientists will be measuring water levels, which will be used to develop maps
that will show ground water flow directions in the area. Scientists also will collect
water-quality samples from wells, information which also will be shared with
each individual well owner.
of landowners with private wells is a vital component to the success of the
study. USGS scientists will be working in the area during November and December,
and will be asking landowners for permission to access their wells. The USGS
employees participating in the study will be driving U.S. Government-tagged
vehicles, and will have a U.S. Government picture I.D. readily visible.
gathered information is useful not only to the USGS, but also should be helpful
for the well owner. Ground water levels typically fluctuate throughout the
year. Water levels usually are highest during the winter and early spring, and
then gradually drop throughout the summer and fall months. Water drawdown in
wells may be larger than usual because of the recent abnormally hot and dry
summer, and the current water level may be of interest to the well owner.
water levels typically takes about five minutes to 10 minutes, and is a fairly
simple process with the proper equipment. Scientists will be collecting water
samples to test for the presence of volatile organic compounds, such as those
that have been detected in the public-supply wells in Vienna. This sampling requires that the water
be allowed to flow from the hydrant nearest the well for about 20 minutes to 30
minutes before the sample is collected. This purging process allows new water
from the aquifer to flush any stagnant water that has been retained in the
stand-pipe of the well, the pressure tank or any other plumbing before the
sample is collected. The sampling results will be shared with the landowner
when the analyses are completed.
is similar to surface water in that it flows from a higher altitude to a lower
altitude. The altitude of the ground water table at a specific location can be
calculated if the altitude of land surface and the depth to ground water is
known at that location. Land surface altitude can be determined from
topographic maps, and depth to ground water can be determined from water level
measurements made in area wells.
work is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency as part of a three-year study that began earlier this year. The study
area is bounded by the Gasconade River to the east and the Maries
River to the west and approximately three
miles to the north and south of Vienna.