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GroundWater Monitoring

GroundWater Monitoring

Groundwater monitoring is an integral part of the Source Water Protection Program (SWPP). The primary objectives of the groundwater monitoring program are to :

  • Provide early warning for groundwater contamination in the Source Water Protection Areas (SWPAs);
  • Track the effectiveness of the SWPP Source Control Strategies; and
  • Provide additional information on general water quality in the SWPAs.

Information collected through the monitoring program may also be useful in future source water delineation efforts/updates.


Groundwater is monitored twice a year by collecting water samples from groundwater monitoring wells and analyzing the samples for certain characteristics (“parameters”). Typical groundwater monitoring parameters include nitrates, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, herbicides, metals, bacteria, and synthetic organic compounds. Temperature, pH, specified electrical conductance, dissolved oxygen, and alkalinity are also monitored. The results of these analyses are compared to Federal Standards for drinking water Quality. These standards are referred to as MCL’s or Maximum Contaminate Levels. To date no MCL’s have been exceeded in any well. Water levels are monitored monthly.


The Consortium’s SWPP Monitoring Plan involved the installation of 15 monitoring wells around the SWPAs and periodic groundwater sampling of these wells. Each well is four inches in diameter, constructed of PVC and protected by steel casings and guard posts at ground surface. Each well has a designated pump powered by compressed nitrogen which reduces the amount of time required to decontaminate portable pumps and tubing before and after each sampling. Wells were installed in pairs (one deep, one shallow) or in groups of three (one deep, one intermediate, one shallow). Sites were chosen on the basis of location in relation to potential pollution sources and Consortium well fields, and the availability of publicly owned land. Surface water quality is currently monitored by USGS as part of their NAWQA Program.

For more information about the Consortium’s Monitoring Program please contact Bruce Whitteberry.

Contact at Greater Cincinnati Water Works: (513) 624-5611

Drilling of monitoring well

During well drilling the aquifer is sampled at various depths and a visual description is logged. This information is then used to determine what depth to screen the well and to document the aquifer information at that location for future use.

Sampling a monitoring well

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