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USGS - science for a changing world

Julian Soren

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Shelter Island, an area of about 11 square miles, in Suffolk County, N.Y., is situated between the north and south forks of eastern Long Island. The upper glacial aquifer is the sole source of freshwater supply for Shelter Island 's population, which currently ranges seasonally from 2,000 to 8,000. Fresh ground water seems to be limited to sand and gravel deposits in the aquifer, which is thin and can be readily infiltrated by surrounding saline ground water. The aquifer is underlain by confining clay formations that contain saline water, and the geologic formations below the clay probably contain saline water also. The fresh ground water is mostly soft and has low dissolved-solids concentrations; however, several...
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Aldicarb, a toxic oxime-carbamate pesticide that was believed incapable of reaching ground water, was used in potato-farming areas of eastern Suffolk County, New York during 1975-80. In 1979, aldicarb was found in substantial concentrations in ground water throughout the area. The New York State Department of Health set a limit of 7 micrograms per liter for aldicarb in drinking water. Extensive ground-water sampling into 1980 showed widespread contamination ranging from small amounts to as much as 515 micrograms per liter. In 1980, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of aldicarb on Long Island at the manufacturer 's request. A 1982 sampling study found aldicarb to have penetrated to about 40...
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