Iron Biofouling is a Costly Problem in Long Island Ground Water
High concentrations of dissolved iron in ground water
contribute to the biofouling of public-supply wells, and the treatment and
remediation of biofouling are costly. Water companies on Long Island, N.Y.,
spend several million dollars annually (1) reconditioning, redeveloping, and
replacing supply wells and distribution lines, (2) treating dissolved iron with
sequestering agents or by filtration, and (3) responding to iron-related
complaints by customers. Dissolved iron concentrations in ground water, and the
frequency of iron biofouling of wells, are highest in ground-water discharge
zones, particularly near the south shore on Long Island. The term "aquifer
biofouling" generally refers to the degradation of ground-water quality by
bacteria and contributes to iron encrustation and corrosion of wells, pumps,
distribution lines, and treatment systems. The report, titled
“Iron in the
aquifer system of Suffolk County, New York—1990-98,”
by Craig J. Brown, Donald A Walter, and Steven Colabufo, is released as
U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations 99-4126.
This report summarizes the results of studies
done by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Suffolk County Water
Authority to characterize the geochemistry and microbiology of iron in the
aquifer system of Suffolk County and provides information pertinent to the siting and
operation of supply wells.
The following links are included for more information on USGS research on
iron in the Long Island aquifer system:
- Brown, C.J., and Schoonen, M.A.A., 2004, Origin of high sulfate concentrations in a coastal plain aquifer: Applied Geochemistry, v. 19, no. 3, p. 343-358.
- Aquifer geochemistry and effects of pumping on ground-water quality at the Green Belt Parkway well field, Holbrook, Long Island, New York: Brown, C.J., Coates, J.D., and Colabufo, Steven, 2002, U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4025, 21 p.
- Geochemical modeling of iron, sulfur, oxygen, and carbon in a coastal plain aquifer: Brown, C.J., Schoonen, M.A.A., and Candela, J.L., 2000, Journal of Hydrology, v. 237, p. 147-168.
Heavy Minerals and Sedimentary Organic Matter in Pleistocene and
Cretaceous Sediments on Long Island, New York, with Emphasis on
Pyrite and Marcasite in the Magothy Aquifer:
Brown, Craig J., Rakovan, John, and Schoonen, Martin A.A., 2000,
U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report
99-4216, 22 p.
Iron in the Aquifer System of Suffolk County, New York—1990-98:
Brown, C.J., Walter, D.A., and Colabufo, Steven., 1999,
U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4126, 10 p.
Localized Sulfate-reducing Zones in a Coastal Plain Aquifer: Brown, C.J.,
Coates, J.D., and Schoonen, M.A.A., 1999, Ground Water, v. 37, no. 4, p.
Summary of U.S. Geological Survey Studies of Iron Geochemistry in the
Aquifer System of Long Island, New York (abst.), in Geology of Long Island and
Metropolitan New York: Brown, C.J., Walter, D.A., and Colabufo, Steven, 1999,
April 24, 1999, Program with Abstracts: Stony Brook, New York, Long Island
Geologists, p. 95
TEAP Distribution and Geochemical Modeling of Redox-active Constituents in
the Magothy Aquifer, Long Island, New York (abst.): Brown, C.J., Schoonen,
M.A.A., and Coates, J.D., 1999, in International Symposium on Subsurface
Microbiology, Program with Abstracts: American Society for Microbiology, Vail,
CO, August 22-27, 1999, p. 42.
Characterization of Localized Sulfate-reducing Zones in the Magothy
Aquifer, Long Island, New York (abst.): Brown, C.J., Coates, J.D., and Schoonen,
M.A.A., 1997, in Biological Aspects of Ground Water, Program with Abstracts:
National Groundwater Association, Las Vegas, September 4-6, 1997, p. 111.
- Effects and distribution of iron-related well-screen encrustation and aquifer biofouling in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York: Walter, D.A., 1997a, U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4217, 29 p.
Geochemistry and Microbiology of Iron-Related Well-Screen Encrustation and
Aquifer Biofouling in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York: Walter, Donald
A., 1997, U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report
97-4032, 37 p.
Contact name: Richard Cartwright / Craig Brown
email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
phone: 516-736-0783 x105 / 860-291-6766