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Ground-water Supplies

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General Conclusions

The investigation made by me did not reveal any place in the area where large supplies of water could be obtained from wells.

The Cretaceous rocks that underlie Russell and Ellis Counties are composed chiefly of materials having low permeability, and which yield only small supplies of water to domestic and stock wells. Sandstone of the Dakota formation is capable of yielding fairly large supplies, but in many places the water is highly mineralized and is unfit for most ordinary uses.

The surficial deposits of Tertiary age that overlie the Cretaceous rocks on the uplands furnish small supplies of water for domestic and stock use, but nowhere in the area studied were they found to be sufficiently permeable or thick to serve as a source for municipal supplies.

Ground water for public-supply, industrial, or other uses is available in moderate amounts from the alluvium and terrace deposits in and along parts of the principal stream valleys, such as the Smoky Hill River, Big Creek, and Victoria Creek Valleys. At many places in Russell County, however, the water contained in these deposits has been contaminated by salt water from the Dakota formation and in some instances by oil-field brines.

In Ellis County water that is obtained from alluvial deposits is generally suitable for public supply, although it contains rather high amounts of calcium and bicarbonate and is therefore quite hard.


Frye, J. C., and Brazil, J. J., 1943, Ground water in the oil-field areas of Ellis and Russell Counties, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 50, pp. 1-104, figs. 1-9, pls. 1-2. [available online]

Kansas State Board of Health, 1945, Kansas municipal water supply and sewerage systems: Division of Sanitation, State Bd. of Health, pp. 1-25.

McLaughlin, T. G., 1944, Memorandum in regard to prospecting for a supplemental ground-water supply for the City of Russell, Kansas: unpublished manuscript on file in the State Geological Survey of Kansas offices.

Rubey, W. W., and Bass, N. W., 1925, The geology of Russell County, Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 10, pt. 1, pp. 1-87, figs. 1-11, pls. 1-5. [available online]

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Kansas Geological Survey, Geohydrology
Placed on web Sept. 20, 2016; originally published Dec. 15, 1948.
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