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Is it the Marshall... Sources of Arsenic in Michigan Ground Water Discussed at Toronto Meeting
Released: 10/24/1998

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Diane Noserale 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4333, In Toronto: 416-585-3706 | FAX: 703-648-6859

Arsenic levels exceeding U.S. standards for drinking water are present in numerous domestic drinking water supply wells distributed over nine counties in southeastern Michigan. U.S. Geological Survey scientist Dr. Allan Kolker will describe possible sources for these anomalously high concentrations during the Annual Meeting of the Geological society of America scheduled for Oct. 25-29 in Toronto, Canada.

"The counties affected have a combined population of more than 2 million people," says Kolker. "Most of the affected wells are completed in the Marshall Sandstone, the principal bedrock aquifer in the region. While arsenic concentrations in the Marshall are sufficient to explain the anomalous arsenic in ground water, the mechanism by which arsenic is released is less certain. High levels of arsenic occur naturally in pyrite, a widespread minor constituent of the sandstone," says Kolker.

This is one of four USGS Drinking Water Initiative studies to address drinking water issues nationwide. It was conducted cooperatively with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the nine counties in the southeastern Michigan study area.

"Arsenic-Rich Pyrite in the Mississippian Marshall Sandstone: Source of Anomalous Arsenic in Southeastern Michigan Ground Water" is scheduled for 10:30 am Monday, Oct 26 in Metro Toronto Convention Centre Rm. 716B.

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