Hydrology - Water Resources Report 36

Ground-Water Resources of Chesterfield County, South Carolina

Roy Newcome, Jr.


Chesterfield County, in northeastern South Carolina and bordering North Carolina, has two markedly different sources of ground water. About 20 percent of the county is in the Piedmont physiographic province, where the crystalline rocks beneath a thin weathered zone contain ground water only in fractures. Wells in these rocks generally provide very low yields, often less than 5 gpm (gallons per minute); although there are exceptions--some 50-200 gpm wells have been reported.

The rest of the county lies below the Fall Line and contains sand and clay beds of the Middendorf Formation, the only formation that underlies the entire Coastal Plain of South Carolina and one of the most important sources of water supplies. The sand aquifers of the Middendorf occur to depths as great as 450 feet near the southern border of the county. Wells in these aquifers yield as much as 900 gpm, but the potential exists for yields of 2,000-3,000 gpm.

The chemical quality of water from both types of aquifer--the hard rock and the sand--is suitable for all uses. In the Piedmont the water is more mineralized and less acidic than that in the Coastal Plain, the latter being similar to rainwater with extremely low dissolved solids and low pH. Recently, several public-supply wells in counties along and just below the Fall Line have been observed to have excessive concentrations of radium. The source and remediation are currently under investigation.

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