Ambient Ground Water Monitoring Program
The maintenance of a baseline description of ground water quality is an essential element of any statewide comprehensive ground water protection program. In recent years, concern for the quality of our environment and drinking water has increased as we learn that many states in the country have experienced ground water contamination from a variety of point and nonpoint sources of pollution.
In North Dakota, a large portion of the potable ground water resource underlies agricultural areas. Prior to the inception of the Ground Water Monitoring Program in 1992, only limited data was available to assess the impact of agricultural chemicals on the state�s ground water quality. The goal of the Ground Water Monitoring Program is to provide an assessment of the quality of North Dakota's ground water resources with regard to agricultural chemical contamination.
Several glacial drift aquifers have been monitored each year of the program since 1992. Approximately, the 50 most vulnerable aquifers are included in the program. This priority ranking was determined through application of the North Dakota Geographic Targeting System. The monitoring conducted in 1996 marked the completion of the first five-year round of monitoring high priority glacial drift aquifers in the state. The second five-year round of monitoring began in 1997, during which time the aquifers sampled five years earlier in 1992 were resampled.
Conducting the monitoring on five-year cycles, preferably using most of the same wells for sampling, will provide a temporal assessment of agricultural chemical occurrence in specific aquifers. Results of each year�s monitoring are described in annual ground water monitoring reports.
For additional information about the North Dakota Ambient Ground Water Monitoring Program or for specific ground water quality questions please contact one of the following individuals at the NDDH, Division of Water Quality: