Piedmont Mountain Groundwater Resource Evaluation Program
As the lead state agency responsible for protecting the quality of North Carolina’s groundwater and surface water, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Division of Water Resources (DWR) has a responsibility to thoroughly understand this resource and the multitude of factors that impact water quality throughout the state. In support of this mandate, the DWR, established the Piedmont-Mountains Resource Evaluation Program (REP) in 1999. This program was a cooperative study between the DWR and the United States Geological Survey with the goal of increasing the knowledge base of crystalline rock hydrogeologic conditions in North Carolina. The program was terminated in 2012, but most of the research station wells remain.
Map of Resource Evaluation Program Stations
The information generated by the Resource Evaluation Program has many uses for government regulators and the general public. These uses include:
- Assisting in the development of appropriate classifications and standards for groundwater quality,
- Effectively conditioning waste disposal permits to protect water quality,
- Evaluating potential man-made and natural threats to groundwater quality,
- Providing technical information to help facilitate the rule-making process,
- Providing information needed to effectively respond to releases of contaminants,
- Helping to determine cost-effective groundwater clean-up requirements, and
- Providing a better understanding of the relationships between groundwater and surface water.
In addition, REP collected specific hydrogeochemical data from each major geologic and hydrogeologic unit so that the state can better guide local community developments and other groundwater usage. Since each region of the state has different environments and socio-economic conditions, REP hydrogeologists were located in NCDEQ's regional offices, allowing the program to effectively respond to the unique challenges in each region.
The REP accomplished its objectives primarily through the installation of groundwater quality monitoring stations to monitor water quality through cooperative studies with other government agencies and academic institutions. REP research stations have been installed at locations that are representative of larger hydrogeologic regions throughout the state and at locations where specific human activities may have an impact on groundwater and surface water quality. Our main REP study partner, the USGS, provided technical expertise and publishing venues to present the results of the REP research to the general public and a broader technical audience. Wells installed at REP sites became part of the state-wide groundwater quality monitoring network, which provides data on changes in groundwater quality over time.
Public education and outreach activities are an integral part of the REP mission. REP sites are used for presentations to professional organizations, community groups, policymakers, school groups, and the general public on various aspects of water quality and hydrogeology. Please contact the DWR Groundwater Section or the Water Quality Regional Operations Section located in your region if you are interested in education and outreach activities related to hydrogeology.
Links to Monitoring Station information:
Pasour Mountain Groundwater Monitoring and Research Station - Gaston County, NC
Allison Woods Groundwater Monitoring and Research Station - Iredell County, NC
Langtree Peninsula Groundwater Monitoring and Research Station - Iredell County, NC
Morgan Mill Groundwater Monitoring and Research Station - Union County, NC
NC Zoo Groundwater Monitoring and Research Station - Randolph County, NC
Tater Hill Groundwater Monitoring and Research Station - Watauga County, NC
Upper Piedmont Groundwater Monitoring and Research Station - Rockingham County, NC
Bent Creek Groundwater Monitoring and Research Station - Buncombe County, NC
Coweeta Groundwater Monitoring and Research Station - Macon County, NC
Lake Wheeler Road Monitoring and Research Station - Wake County, NC
Neuse River WWTP Monitoring and Research Station - Wake County, NC
Rocky Branch Stream Restoration Monitoring and Research Station - Wake County, NC
Duke Forest Monitoring and Research Station - Orange County, NC
Western Carolina University Monitoring and Research Station - Jackson County, NC
Map of Resource Evaluation Program Stations with Geologic Belts
From 1974 to 1980, the Federal Government systematically evaluated the uranium resources of the conterminous United States and Alaska. Earth science research in the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) program included hydrogeochemical and stream sediment sampling, coordinated rock sampling and analyses, airborne radiometric and magnetic surveys, geologic map compilation, ore deposit studies, subsurface geologic investigation, technology applications studies, development of resource estimation methodologies, and uranium resource evaluations incorporating research results.