Maryland Department of Natural Resources


Compilation of Coastal Plain groundwater-quality data from multiple data sources in Anne Arundel, Wicomico and Worcester Counties, Maryland

2018, Andreasen, D.C., Bolton, D.W., and Staley, A.W.

Administrative Report 18-02-01


Groundwater-quality data are collected throughout Maryland by state, county, and federal agencies. The data are collected for different purposes, using different collection and analytical protocols with different detection and reporting levels, and are stored in different locations and in different formats. As a result of these variations between agencies the data are not easily accessed or used by water managers and others who might benefit from the data. In addition, the source aquifer for many of the groundwater-quality data—primarily the county data—is unknown or inaccurate.

In 2012, the Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) (Maryland Department of Natural Resources) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in coordination with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Water Supply Program, developed the Maryland Coastal Plain Aquifer Information System (MCPAIS). This information system integrated large amounts of existing aquifer data, including aquifer depths, hydraulic characteristics, and geophysical logs into a GIS-based environment that could be accessed to evaluate Groundwater Allocation and Use Permits. Because of funding constraints, however, water-quality data were not incorporated into the MCPAIS (with the exception of arsenic data).

In this report, existing groundwater-quality data from Anne Arundel, Wicomico and Worcester Counties, all of which are located in the Maryland coastal plain, were compiled into a GIS database. The purpose of this work is to incorporate groundwater-quality datasets identified by source aquifer from multiple data sources into a consistent and standard format that can be used for analysis by water managers and others, and that will provide a prototype for the future inclusion of additional counties. Groundwater-quality data were compiled from the Anne Arundel, Wicomico, and Worcester County Health Departments, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Information System (NWIS)-QWDATA database, the MDE Public Drinking Water database, and MGS project data. ArcGIS layers were generated for five constituents (arsenic, chloride, iron, manganese, and nitrate) that show the distribution of these constituents by aquifer. The ArcGIS layers are organized by aquifer and symbolized by concentration ranges in an ArcMap project. The work was funded under an agreement between the Maryland Geological Survey (Maryland Department of Natural Resources) and the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Downloads and Data

Administrative Report 18-02-01 (pdf, 13.7 MB)