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Problem: Rural Contamination

The USGS recently found that in 4 of the 33 major aquifers studied, nitrate concentrations in more than 15 percent of the samples tested exceeded the USEPA drinking-water standard (USGS, 2001b). All four aquifers are relatively shallow, in agricultural areas, and composed of sand and gravel that is vulnerable to contamination by land application of fertilizers. In nearly one-half of the major aquifers sampled, water from at least one well, out of 20 to 30 wells, exceeded the drinking-water standard. Many of the major aquifers exhibiting high nitrate concentrations were used for rural domestic water supply.

Andy Wingo 2001-12-10