USGS - science for a changing world

South Atlantic Water Science Center

Map of North Carolina highlighting the project study area

Project Overview

Full Title
Piedmont-Mountains Groundwater

 Iredell, Wake, Rockingham, Buncombe, Macon, Randolph, Orange and Watauga counties

Cooperating Agencies
North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Division of Water Quality Aquifer Protection Section

Project Chief
Melinda Chapman

Period of Project

Team Members
Brad Huffman
Kristen McSwain
Steve Harden

Piedmont-Mountains Groundwater

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


Photograph of real-time groundwater monitoring wells

Real-time groundwater-level and water-quality monitoring equipment at Bent Creek Demonstration Forest site.

Ground-water flow in the regolith-crystalline bedrock aquifer of North Carolina is complex and not well understood. The groundwater resources of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Physiographic Provinces are critical to the welfare of the State. A regional characterization of land use, groundwater quality, recharge and discharge relations, soils, land use, hydrogeologic characterizations, and groundwater flow is needed in order to appropriately manage the resources. However, detailed, site-specific information also is needed to understand and manage site-specific problems and solutions.

The existing ambient groundwater-quality monitoring network of wells is not currently sufficient to address groundwater-resource and water-quality questions in the NC Piedmont and Mountains. This project provides a program to assess ambient groundwater quality in the Piedmont and Mountain Region and identify water-quality trends. Both the water-quantity and water-quality aspects of an ambient groundwater program are needed to manage and protect the resource.