The aquifers beneath Kings and Queens Counties supplied an average of more than 120 Mgal/d (million gallons per day) for industrial and public water supply during 1904-47, but this pumping caused saltwater intrusion and a deterioration of water quality that led to the cessation of pumping for public supply in Kings County in 1947 and in western Queens County in 1974. Since the cessation of pumping in Kings and western Queens Counties, ground-water levels have recovered steadily, and the saltwater has partly dispersed and become diluted. In eastern Queens County, where pumpage for public supply averages 60 Mgal/d, all three major aquifers contain a large cone of depression. The saltwater-freshwater interface in the Jameco-Magothy aquifer already extends inland in southeastern Queens County and is moving toward this cone of depression. The pumping centers' proximity to the north shore also warrants monitoring for saltwater intrusion in the Flushing Bay area.
Urbanization and development on western Long Island since before the tum of this century have caused significant changes in the ground-water budget (total inflow and outflow) and patterns of movement. Some of the major causes are: ( 1) intensive pumping for industrial and public supply; (2) paving of large land-surface areas; (3) installation of a vast network of combined (stonn and sanitary) sewers; (4) leakage from a water-supply-line network that carries more than 750 Mgal/d; and (5) burial of stream channels and extensive wetland areas near the shore.
Elevated nitrate and chloride concentrations throughout the upper glacial (water-table) aquifer indicate widespread contamination from land surface. Localized contamination in the underlying Jameco-Magothy aquifer is attributed to downward migration in areas of hydraulic connection between aquifers where the Gardiners Clay is absent A channel eroded through the Raritan confining unit provides a pathway for migration of surface contaminants to the Lloyd aquifer sooner than anticipated Although ground water in the Lloyd aquifer is still pristine, present pumping rates and potentiometric levels in the Lloyd indicate that this aquifer is much more sensitive to withdrawals than the other aquifers are and contains an extremely limited water supply.
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