Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Songlin Cheng (Committee Chair), David Dominic (Committee Member), Benjamin Richards (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ground water of the Echo Hills area in Clark County, Ohio was investigated for common water contaminants such as nitrate and coliform bacteria. Thirty-four water samples were collected from locations including private wells, streams and a spring. Nine of those samples were selected for nitrogen isotope analysis. Three locations were chosen for a tracer test. Additionally, well log data, historical water quality data, and GIS data were obtained from the Clark County Health Department in Springfield, Ohio. Results show that local agriculture likely has the greatest impact on ground water quality in Echo Hills especially the north-eastern portion, with local septic systems possibly contributing contaminants to the ground water as well. N-15 isotope values indicate that nitrogen found in the ground water originates from synthetic fertilizer along with other sources, possibly human or animal waste. The drinking water quality is also affected by well construction. Open borehole wells allow contaminated water from the upper aquifer to mix with relatively clean water from the lower aquifer. The results suggest that proper well and septic system construction, along with a good understanding of local geology can greatly reduce domestic water quality issues.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.