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A Geostatistical Framework to Map the Variation of Arsenic found in Private Wells in Gaston County, NC

Authors: Eric Delmelle*, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Claudio Owusu, UNC Charlotte
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Medical and Health Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Arsenic, GIS, Health, Kriging, Uncertainty, Visualization, Well
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 10:15 AM / 11:30 AM
Room: Virtual Track 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The management of water quality from private wells faces challenges due to low testing rates and limited knowledge of treatment options from well users. These challenges are exacerbated with known presence of contaminants.

We propose a geostatistical framework to monitor water quality from private wells. Specially, we predict the variation of arsenic at unknown locations, based on limited set of samples. Ultimately, these results help to determine the most at risk regions to target for well testing education. We illustrate the benefit of our approach using inorganic test results of private water wells from 2011 to 2017 in Gaston County, NC. We compare different kriging procedures (including indicator kriging) to determine areas exceeding the maximum contaminant level across Gaston County.

Our approach is portable to other regions facing similar issues of small samples, and the functionality can further be embedded into a real-time surveillance system for the management of water quality from private wells.

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