Ground Water Handbook

Ground Water Handbook for the State of Maine

W. Bradford Caswell

135 p., 78 figs., 5 tables

Price: $5.00

ordering instructions
This handbook is written in a non-technical style and discusses the principles of ground water hydrology, Maine's water situation, available hydrogeologic data, and specific problems and case studies.

Chapters 1 and 2 are available online.


Chapter 1: Ground Water Hydrology

General geology of Maine's ground water sources

General ground water principles

  • Global distribution and circulation of water
  • The hydrologic equation and recharge
  • Ground water in porous materials
  • Ground water flow
    • Flow potential and hydraulic gradient
    • Recharge and discharge
    • Flow divides
    • Shallow and deep flow systems
    • Flow near streams and lakes
    • Flow rates and quantities

More practical aspects of ground water hydrology

  • Ground water demands
  • Aquifers
    • Gravel aquifers
    • Bedrock aquifers
    • Water table and artesian aquifers
  • Springs
    • Water-table springs
    • Artesian springs
  • Wells: water table and artesian
    • Water table wells
    • Artesian wells
  • Wells: construction
    • Dug and drilled wells
    • Driven and jetted wells (point wells)
  • Wells: pumping tests
  • Wells: exploration
    • Sand and gravel aquifers
    • Fractured bedrock wells
  • Ground water quantity and quality: natural factors
    • Seasonal variations
    • Aquifer composition and length of flow path
    • Air pressure and tides
    • Proximity to the ocean
    • Air temperature
  • Ground water quantity and quality: human effects
    • Well interference and aquifer boundaries
    • Ground water contamination
  • Ground water quantity and quality: site assessments
    • Site reconnaissance and aerial photograph interpretation
    • Geophysical investigations
    • Test borings and monitoring wells
    • Computer analysis

Chapter 2: Maine's Water Situation

Relative use of ground and surface waters for domestic supplies

Infiltration of precipitation

Total ground water in storage and annual recharge

Ground water available in surficial and bedrock aquifers

Necessary well depths

Ground water quality

Chapter 3: Available Hydrogeologic Data

Surficial aquifer information

  • Surficial geology maps
  • Sand and gravel aquifer maps
  • Significant aquifer maps
  • Water quality in sand and gravel aquifers reports

Bedrock aquifer information

  • Thickness of overburden maps
  • Bedrock surface topography maps
  • Potentiometric and water table surfaces
  • Bedrock well depth maps
  • High-yield bedrock zone maps

General water-resources data

Chapter 4: Specific Problems and Case Studies


Locating potable ground water supplies

  • Individual domestic wells
  • Community wells
  • Municipal, industrial, and commercial wells

Preventing ground water pollution

  • Leachate from barnyards, septic tanks, road salt stockpiles, dumps, etc.
    • Barnyard wastes
    • Agricultural chemicals
    • Stored agricultural products
    • Solid wastes
    • Road salt
  • Petroleum products
  • Hazardous wastes
  • Natural contaminants
  • Radon
  • Well construction

Preventing undesirable changes in ground water level or flow

  • Decrease in infiltration and ground water recharge
  • Obstruction of ground water flow
  • Excessive ground water withdrawal
  • Surface-water impoundments

Last updated on December 10, 2009