Groundwater 101

By: Devan George, Communications Coordinator

January at the Pike County Conservation District is Groundwater month! This means that we are going to spend the month talking about an incredibly important resource here in Pike County. Almost all residents get their water from groundwater, so when you turn on a tap in NEPA  it’s most likely groundwater coming out.

When water falls to the earth as precipitation it can one of two places in the watershed. It can either become storm water run-off or it can infiltrate down into the groundwater. Here at the District we spend a lot of time talking about stormwater, but groundwater is just as important. As you can see in the diagram and video below, water that infiltrates into the groundwater recharges our aquifers, providing us with water for our wells. It also moves through the aquifer to recharge our surface water sources, such as rivers, lakes and creeks. The water coming from groundwater to the surface naturally is called a spring.

Groundwater Diagram from

The process of infiltration is not only important to provide us with water in our homes, but it also ensures that the water is clean. As the water flows through the soil  it is filtered and then further filtered as it moves through the aquifer. Aquifers are as pictured below, not an underground lake, but a layer of saturated soil that the water can flow through.

Infiltration is reduced when humans cover the ground with impervious surfaces, such as parking lots, homes, roads, sidewalks, etc. This has several negative impacts on our water resources. When rain water is not able to infiltrate into the ground, it will not recharge our groundwater, which is then depleted by human wells. Preventing precipitation from infiltrating into the soil also forces it to become stormwater runoff. With greater amounts of stormwater runoff comes increased flooding, erosion, non-point source pollution, etc. You can learn more about the effect of stormwater and how to help control it by clicking here.

Celebrate all that groundwater gives us and why it is so important to protect it this month with PCCD. All this month, Pike County Conservation District will be providing information and tips on groundwater and groundwater protection on our social media, so click here to follow us on Instagram and Facebook.