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The wells operated by the Jamaica Water Supply Company in Queens represent the only large scale utilization of groundwater for public water supply in New York City in recent years. These wells were shut down, for the most part, beginning in 1996. Since that time, water table elevations in the area, which had been drawn down by the withdrawal activity of the Jamaica Water Supply Company, have risen significantly causing some high groundwater problems, including flooding of basements. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) has held public hearings on a contemplated resumption of ground water withdrawal in Southeast Queens, presumably to supplement surface reservoir water supply during drought years and to drawdown the water table, thus alleviating some of the difficulties due to high water table levels. One possible problem with the planned resumption of withdrawal is the existence of a site in the area contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons, (PERC), due to a chemical spill. The NYCDEP is contemplating a recovery well, or wells, to isolate the contaminated area from the proposed supply wells. Monitoring wells have been installed on the campus of York College (CUNY). These are being used to establish baseline ground water quality conditions, as well as changes in water table elevation, groundwater flow direction and hydraulic gradient at the York College site. This data will aid in the setup of a groundwater recovery program and help monitor its effectiveness once it begins. The wells will also serve as an on-campus hydrogeological laboratory facility for undergraduate students taking Groundwater Hydrology, Pollution Control Technology, Water Quality Analysis and Management Courses.


This work was originally presented at the 2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting.



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