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South Atlantic Water Science Center

Map of North Carolina highlighting the project study area

Project Overview

Full Title
Groundwater Level and Conductance Monitoring Network at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune

 Camp Lejeune in Onslow County

Cooperating Agencies
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Environmental Management

Project Chief
Kristen B McSwain

Period of Project

Team Members
Douglas G. Smith

Science Topic:
Groundwater resources
Support of Federal and State Programs


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Camp Lejeune Groundwater Level and Conductance Monitoring Network

This project was completed in 2012. These pages are for historical purposes only.

Project Summary

Photograph of groundwater monitoring well

Groundwater-level monitoring equipment at Camp Lejeune.


The demand for future drinking-water supplies is one of the major issues facing the Onslow County area. Since Camp Lejeune was opened in the early 1940’s, drinking water has been supplied from wells that tap sands and limestones present in the surficial and Castle Hayne aquifers. Ultimately, the intrusion of saltwater into the aquifer systems from the nearby New River Estuary or upward from deeper brackish aquifers will likely reduce the sustainability of the water resources.


The objective of this study is to construct and maintain a groundwater level and conductance-monitoring network for Camp Lejeune. The project data will provide a basis for measuring short- and long-term fluctuations in aquifer water levels and conductance as a result of the groundwater withdrawal practices of neighboring large-volume water suppliers. Water level and conductance data can be used to establish critical levels for groundwater conditions.


A network of 19 wells at 8 sites that tap the surficial, Castle Hayne, Peedee, and Black Creek aquifers were instrumented with real-time monitoring equipment. Activities include data collection of:

  1. real-time water level in 19 wells to monitor groundwater levels and
  2. real-time continuous conductance and temperature in 16 wells to monitor groundwater quality.

Continuous conductance and temperature data are collected from a single point within the screen of each well.