Unionville Reconnaissance Groundwater Analysis

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Bivens, Briauna
Feeback, Lilyan
Stokman, Joshua
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Unionville Reconnaissance Groundwater Analysis
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Unionville is a small community approximately three miles south of downtown Helena. Knowledge of the groundwater-flow system and water-quality data is very limited. For example, there are no known trace-metals water-quality analysis from any of the local wells. Trace metals include toxic metals such as Arsenic, Uranium, and Lead. Also, systematic water-level measurements have not been performed to estimate the groundwater-table surface. This is needed to estimate the direction of groundwater flow. For our study, our objective was to answer the following question: Do Unionville’s local wells contain elevated levels of metals that would pose a public health risk? And what is the pattern of groundwater flow and static levels during 2019 winter conditions? Letters were sent to residents to determine who was willing to have their wells tested, and from there a plan was formed to decide which wells to visit. A literature and groundwater information center (GWIC) review was required prior to fieldwork to determine how deep the wells were drilled, as well as what their static water levels were when they were drilled. Each well was located with a hand-held GPS unit, measured for static water level, and then pumped until field parameters stabilized. At that point a water sample was collected and sent to a registered lab for analysis. Then, the field data from each well; such as, water levels and GPS coordinates, and trace-metal analyses were positioned on a map to evaluate any patterns. Each resident was provided with a copy of their well’s water-quality analysis and the collected data was added to the GWIC database for future comparative studies.
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