Volume 2, Issue 1 e1171
ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Spatial and temporal variability of radium in the Wisconsin Cambrian–Ordovician aquifer system

Marie Dematatis

Marie Dematatis

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Search for more papers by this author
Amy Plechacek

Amy Plechacek

Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Search for more papers by this author
Madeleine Mathews

Madeleine Mathews

Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Search for more papers by this author
Daniel B. Wright

Daniel B. Wright

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Search for more papers by this author
Florence Udenby

Florence Udenby

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin

Search for more papers by this author
Madeline B. Gotkowitz

Madeline B. Gotkowitz

Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Butte, Montana

Search for more papers by this author
Matthew Ginder-Vogel

Corresponding Author

Matthew Ginder-Vogel

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Correspondence

Matthew Ginder-Vogel, Water Science and Engineering Laboratory, 660 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706.

Email: [email protected]

Search for more papers by this author
First published: 20 February 2020
Citations: 6
Present address Madeline B. Gotkowitz, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Butte, MT, 59701
Funding information Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council; National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Grant/Award Number: DGE-1747503

Abstract

Compliance monitoring of contaminants in public drinking water supplies results in publicly available data sets that are maintained by state agencies and useful for investigating changes in water quality. In this study, spatial and temporal trends in naturally occurring radium (combined 226Ra + 228Ra) concentrations in groundwater from the Midwestern Cambrian–Ordovician aquifer system were evaluated with a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources compliance data set. Average combined Ra from 2000 to 2018 in the Midwestern Cambrian–Ordovician aquifer system increased from 5.5 to 7.9 pCi/L in the confined region and from 4.8 to 6.6 pCi/L in the unconfined region. On a local scale, the data demonstrate increasing radium in the communities of Sussex (n = 98) and Brookfield (n = 35), and a decreasing trend in nearby Waukesha (n = 176). This study demonstrates the utility of compliance data sets for investigating water quality trends and the importance of geographic scale in examining such data.