Aquifer sensitivity and potential groundwater contaminant sources

Because groundwater is a resource only to the extent that it can be exploited for beneficial use to society, evaluation of potential threats of contamination of this resource is an important aspect of any assessment. It is axiomatic that protecting groundwater from contamination is much more rational than cleaning it up after it has been impacted through unsound practices.

Two map products from the SDVC study are used to help evaluate the potential for groundwater contamination in the WBRB: a map of average annual recharge (Figure 5-2) and a map of aquifer sensitivity (Figure 5-3). Figures 5-4 through 5-10 are maps of potential groundwater contaminant sources in the WBRB that were prepared for this study to help identify areas of elevated potential contaminant risk.

Estimated net annual aquifer recharge
Estimated net annual aquifer recharge
Estimated net annual aquifer recharge
Aquifer sensitivity

Potential sources of groundwater contamination:Potential sources of groundwater contamination:

-Oil and gas fields, pipelines, and Class II injection and disposal wells

-Class I and V injection wells permitted through the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Underground Injection Control (UIC) program and active outfalls in the Wyoming Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WYPDES) program

-Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality permitted and inventoried solid and hazardous waste facilities, and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)

-Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) permitted storage tanks and commercial disposal pits; WDEQ Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP), Brownfield, Independent cleanup process (ICP), and orphan sites; and known contaminated areas in WDEQ’s groundwater program

-Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Land Quality Division permitted mines, (quarries, and pits)

-Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Abandoned Mine Land Divsion abandoned mine sites

-Wyoming State Geological Survey mapped mines


Reference View complete Wind/Bighorn Basin Water Plan