Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Department name when degree awarded
Thomas E. Lachmar
Thomas E. Lachmar
The Safe Drinking Water Act includes provisions for state wellhead protection programs which address wellhead protection areas. In Utah, these areas are called drinking water source protection (DWSP) zones. Zones Two and Three are delineated according to analytical or numerical techniques, which are based on hydrogeological and time-of-travel data, as well as recharge information, accumulated through the use of hydrogeologic and hydrochemical techniques. The primary conclusions of this research are:
- A fence diagram and site hydrostratigraphic diagram show that the hydrogeology is more complex than previously has been thought. The principal aquifer at the target well site comprises a sequence of mostly coarse-grained units interspersed with thinner fine-grained units. The supposedly unconfined shallow aquifer is confined in most parts of the valley, including the target well site.
- The recovery rate of water levels in the monitor wells in response to pumping of the target well indicates that horizontal groundwater flow velocities are low at the target well site. X
- Interpretation of major ions relative to the depth of uppermost open interval of the various sample wells indicates that the deeper of the three major water-bearing zones (below 300 to 350 feet [91 to 107 meters]) is not well connected to the upper two zones.
- The chemical evolution of the water along the westernmost of three discrete flowpaths indicates a change from young calcium bicarbonate water to moderately mature sodium-sulfate water.
- Sample waters recharged from the northern Wasatch Mountains have higher total-dissolved-solids (TDS) contents then sample waters recharged from the southern Wasatch Mountains.
- The discrepancy between many of the δ18O, δD, and tritium data as to the probable recharge area(s) indicate that the sample wells must be evaluated on an individual basis regarding the source of recharge water.
- The tritium data demonstrate that those wells located farthest out into the valley or having the deepest uppermost open interval furnish the lowest tritium values.
- Based on the 14C dating technique, the groundwater at the target well site appears to be between 1300 and 5300 years old.
- There is little risk of contamination at the target well site, in terms of the 15-year time-of-travel DWSP zone (Zone 3).
Gadt, Jeff W., "Hydrogeology and Hydrochemistry of the East-Central Portion of The Salt Lake Valley, Utah, as Applied to Wellhead Protection in a Confined To Semiconfined Aquifer" (1994). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 6781.
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