What is an aquifer? An aquifer is a wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. Many people tend to think of aquifers as “underground lakes” which is not the case because water is held between rock particles. Water infiltrates into the soil through pores, cracks, and other spaces until it reaches the zone of saturation where all of the spaces are filled with water (rather than air). The zone of saturation occurs because water infiltrating the soil reaches an impermeable layer of rocks so that it is not able to penetrate any further into the earth. Water held in aquifers is know as groundwater.

Sand and gravel aquifer maps are useful in two major categories of decision-making: ground-water supply and ground-water protection.

Ground-water supply
-These maps are useful in locating areas favorable for developing water supplies for municipal, industrial, or residential use. Information on the map, such as depth to bedrock and well yield, indicate the potential for ground-water production. High-yield municipal wells are constructed primarily in gravel deposits from which yields of 500-1000 gpm are possible. The location of sand and gravel aquifers can influence where a well driller locates a well, and what type of well is constructed.

Ground-water protection
-Knowledge of the location and extent of sand and gravel aquifers is critical when siting potential contamination sites such as landfills, underground storage tanks, or salt storage facilities.
-If ground-water contamination occurs, the general trend of the plume migration can be deduced from these maps by analyzing the drainage basin boundaries and the local surface water bodies.
-When used in conjunction with other geologic information, this map can help planners and municipal officials make much more informed decisions to guide industrial growth or residential development.

If you would like more information, to order a custom map, or request a paper copy (fee map apply) of a map contact Ed Helbig at 845-615-3869 or click here to send an email.

Maps of Aquifers / Water Resources:

Orange County, New York
Highland Mills
Crawford/Pine Bush
Port Jervis
Valley Central School District (Montgomery)
Village of Warwick
Warwick, Pine Island & Westtown