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Geological Research at the IGS

Analysis of nitrate in groundwater in Jackson County, Indiana

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jun 30, 2002 Jackson
Director: Denver Harper
Other Researchers: Ed Hartke and Noel Krothe (Department of Geological Sciences)
Funding: Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)
Issue: Groundwater quality in the major aquifer system that occupies the floodplain of the East Fork White River, northwest of Seymour in Jackson County, has been seriously degraded by anthropogenic nitrate. Many of the drinking water wells produce water having nitrate concentrations that exceed the USEPA Drinking Water Standard limits of 10mg/l N.
Objective: The purpose of the study was to identify the source or sources of the nitrate.
Approach: The sources of the nitrate were investigated by analyzing the groundwater flow system and chemistry in the shallow unconsolidated aquifer. Results indicate that nitrate is derived from inorganic fertilizers applied to farm fields and from organic waste from animal feeding operations. Results also indicate that nitrate reduction is occurring at depth.
Products: A report on the project is available on the IGS Web site: .
Benefits: The investigation has led to a new project to develop best management practices that may gradually reduce nitrates in the aquifer.
Publications:

Analysis of nitrate in groundwater in Jackson County, Indiana


 
 
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