The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority uses groundwater wells to provide drinking water to the residents of the Albuquerque metropolitan area. Proper management is needed to ensure that the residents have safe drinking water. This study focuses on a particular water distribution trunk of the Albuquerque Water System. Ridgecrest Trunk wells provide approximately 20 percent of the water for Albuquerque, New Mexico. However, throughout the area there are numerous sites that have known releases of hazardous materials that have contaminated soil and groundwater. Mapping sites that have known soil or groundwater contamination is useful to determine the proximity of the contamination source to the public water supply wells. This project utilizes MODFLOW-2000 software to simulate how groundwater pumping affects the aquifer with a model created by the U.S. Geological Survey for the Albuquerque Basin. Capture zones were modeled for each well in the study area to determine how the water will move in a defined period of time. When sites of known hazardous waste fall within a capture zone, there is a risk that the contamination will travel and impact drinking water. Of the 168 sites included in the study, 17 contaminant sites fell within the 50 year capture zones for the Ridgecrest Trunk wells. The results of this study provide a preliminary assessment of groundwater movement to determine if the Ridgecrest Trunk wells are vulnerable to contamination from hazardous waste dumped on the ground surface.
Albuquerque Water System, Municipal wells, Ridgecrest Trunk, Middle Rio Grande Basin, Superfund sites, Mesa del Sol, VOCs, Albuquerque Basin MODFLOW model
Wollak, Jordan. "Modeling Capture Zones to Determine Potential Threats to the Public Water Supply Wells." (2008). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/wr_sp/100