Groundwater in Illinois

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A forum for discussing groundwater issues in Illinois by scientists at the Illinois State Water Survey.

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  • The Private Well Class, Five Years in the Making

    Staff at the University of Illinois developed a 10-lesson online class, the Private Well Class, for homeowners with private wells to learn how to properly care for their water well.

  • Improving our ability to “see” aquifers

    The Illinois State Water Survey has developed new modeling approaches to analyze the 150+ years of data we have collected in the region, improving both our historic understanding of the aquifers of the state and our modeling capabilities to simulate future water supply planning scenarios.

  • Groundwater Depletion in Chicago’s Southwestern Suburbs

    Sandstone water supplies in the southwest suburbs are at the highest risk, where water levels have reached historic lows, exceeding 1,100 feet of drawdown when wells are pumping.

  • A Change in Focus: More Groundwater

    Due to various circumstances, I have been unable to maintain a reasonable schedule for blog posts on my blog "Water Quality, Focus on Illinois." In fact, I haven't posted in a number of months. As a result, we are expanding the blogs to include multiple authors in the Groundwater Science Section at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. The scope of the blog posts will be broadened to include many topics on groundwater, not just water quality, still with an emphasis on Illinois, although not limited to our state. We hope you enjoy the new look, and we look forward to your feedback.

  • Fish Adapting to Pollution

    A paper published in Science reports that genetic adaptions in the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) allow it to survive what, in unpolluted environments, would be lethal levels of bioaccumulative dioxin-like contaminants.

  • Animas River Spill Follow-Up

    The first peer-reviewed paper (as far as I can tell) related to the Animas River, Colorado, was recently published. An estimated 3 million gallons of toxic acid mine drainage water was released into a small tributary of the Animas River due to the failure of a dam containing the waste.

  • Large Study of Bacterial Water Quality in Sub-Saharan Africa

    A just released study did a meta-analysis of almost 43,000 water samples from 7 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to assess the amount of bacterial contamination and how it varied with respect to source type.

  • Micro- and Nanoparticles

    There are both natural and engineered micro- and nanomaterials in our world. Ocean spray, smoke, and milk all contain natural nanomaterials. In recent years, engineered materials have been designed and produced with many useful applications.

  • Thermal Pollution

    In surface water, temperature is an important water quality parameter affecting aquatic organisms, and a recently published paper has looked at the magnitude of thermal pollution in many river basins throughout the world.

  • Triclosan and Microbiomes

    Triclosan is a very common antibacterial compound, used in antibacterial soaps and toothpaste, and it is found in humans (detected in about 75% of urine samples in the U.S. in 2008) and in the aquatic environment.