Trinity Aquifer

The Trinity Aquifer, a major aquifer, extends across much of the central and northeastern part of the state. It is composed of several smaller aquifers contained within the Trinity Group. Al¬though referred to differently in different parts of the state, they include the Antlers, Glen Rose, Paluxy, Twin Mountains, Travis Peak, Hensell, and Hosston aquifers. These aquifers consist of limestones, sands, clays, gravels, and conglomerates. Their combined freshwater saturated thickness averages about 600 feet in North Texas and about 1,900 feet in Central Texas. In general, groundwater is fresh but very hard in the outcrop of the aquifer. Total dissolved solids increase from less than 1,000 milligrams per liter in the east and southeast to between 1,000 and 5,000 milligrams per liter, or slightly to moderately saline, as the depth to the aquifer increases. Sulfate and chloride concentrations also tend to increase with depth. The Trinity Aquifer discharges to a large number of springs, with most dis¬charging less than 10 cubic feet per second. The aquifer is one of the most extensive and highly used groundwater resources in Texas. Although its primary use is for municipalities, it is also used for irrigation, livestock, and other domestic purposes. Some of the state’s largest water level declines, ranging from 350 to more than 1,000 feet, have occurred in counties along the IH-35 corridor from McLennan County to Grayson County. These declines are primarily attributed to municipal pumping, but they have slowed over the past decade as a result of increasing reliance on surface water. The regional water planning groups, in their 2006 Regional Water Plans, recommended numerous water management strategies for the Trinity Aquifer, including de¬veloping new wells and well fields, pumping more water from existing wells, overdrafting, reallocating supplies, and using surface water and groundwater conjunctively.

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