Status and Understanding of Groundwater Quality in the South Coast Range-Coastal Study Unit, 2008: California Gama Priority Basin Project by Michael T Land, Carmen A Burton, Kenneth Belitz (Paperback / softback, 2014)
Groundwater quality in the approximately 653-square-mile (1,691-square-kilometer) South Coast Interior Basins (SCI) study unit was investigated as part of the Priority Basin Project of the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program. The South Coast Interior Basins study unit contains eight priority groundwater basins grouped into three study areas, Livermore, Gilroy, and Cuyama, in the Southern Coast Ranges hydrogeologic province. The GAMA Priority Basin Project is being conducted by the California State Water Resources Control Board in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The GAMA South Coast Interior Basins study was designed to provide a spatially unbiased assessment of untreated (raw) groundwater quality within the primary aquifer system, as well as a statistically consistent basis for comparing water quality between basins. The assessment was based on water-quality and ancillary data collected by the USGS from 50 wells in 2008 and on water-quality data from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) database. The primary aquifer system was defined by the depth intervals of the wells listed in the CDPH database for the SCI study unit. The quality of groundwater in the primary aquifer system may be different from that in the shallower or deeper water-bearing zones; shallow groundwater may be more vulnerable to surficial contamination. The first component of this study, the status of the current quality of the groundwater resource, was assessed by using data from samples analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, and naturally occurring irganic constituents, such as trace elements and mir ions. This status assessment is intended to characterize the quality of groundwater resources within the primary aquifer system of the SCI study unit, t the treated drinking water delivered to consumers by water purveyors. Relative-concentrations (sample concentration divided by the health- or aesthetic-based benchmark concentration) were used for evaluating groundwater quality for those constituents that have Federal or California regulatory or n-regulatory benchmarks for drinking-water quality. A relative-concentration greater than 1.0 indicates a concentration greater than a benchmark, and a relative-concentration less than or equal to 1.0 indicates a concentration equal to or less than a benchmark. Relative-concentrations of organic constituents and special-interest constituents were classified as high (relative-concentration greater than 1.0), moderate (relative-concentration greater than 0.1 and less than or equal to 1.0), or low (relative-concentration less than or equal to 0.1). Relative-concentrations of irganic constituents were classified as high (relative-concentration greater than 1.0), moderate (relative-concentration greater than 0.5 and less than or equal to 1.0), or low (relative-concentration less than or equal to 0.5).