Introduction to Environmental Geosciences header
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Introduction to Environmental Geoscience
Homework #4 for Fall 2008

Due 7 October 2008

Late homework will cost 15 points per week or part of a week it is late.

What is the source of your hometown tap water? How good is your tap water?

Please write a two-page report discussing the origin and quality of tap water in your hometown or nearby. Your report should include but not necessarily be limited to each of the following:

  1. The source of tap water in your home.
  2. The amount of present and future water demand; plans for meeting future demand.
  3. The natural (major-ion) chemistry of the water (include table) and an explanation of the factors responsible for that chemistry.
  4. Any violations of drinking water standards.

Alternative Approach to Assignment.

Many water districts do not have environmental quality information on the web. If yours does not, you may use additional sources of information below to discuss the overall "health" of the aquifer or water reservoir that provides water for your hometown.


Your essay should be well written, concise, with a logical organization. It should be properly punctuated and corrected for typing and spelling errors. Points will be deducted for poor grammar and sloppy organization, lack of thought and effort, and various typing errors. On the other hand, points will be awarded for originality of thought and initiative.

  • Minimum 2 full pages of text, double-spaced, including one line for the title and one line for your name.
  • Use laser printing with 10-point Helvetica or 12-point Times or Times Roman font. Bold font should be used only to highlight.
  • Show bibliography of the references you used.
  • Tables and figures should go after the text pages and do not count toward the two pages required. They should be labeled (e.g., Table 1, Figure 1) and have a caption. All data or figures presented should cite the source in the caption.
  • Do not copy-and-paste paragraphs or even sentences from your sources unless absolutely necessary, and then they should be enclosed with quotation marks and the source cited. Quotations should be used sparingly and not as a device to avoid writing.
  • The audience for this report is at a level equivalent to students who have taken this course.

Some Resources

  1. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality–Search the Water Utility Database (WUD). Search by Water District Name or Number.
  2. EPA - Envirofacts Data Warehouse - Water:
    1. Step 1. Enter zip code under question: "What public water systems for my county have violations reported in Envirofacts?"
    2. Step 2. Find your water system.
  3. Surf Your Watershed:
  4. Texas Water Development Board
  5. Water for Texas. Provides information on different regions' water needs and use. First look at table of contents for your area, then download the appropriate chapter.
  6. Water well information.
  7. Groundwater Atlases:
  8. Texas Environmental Almanac, 2nd Edition, M. Sanger and C. Reed, University of Texas
    Press (2000)

Additional sources of public drinking water information

  • City or town web site.
  • Contact city or town by email.

Some other relevant sites are below.

  1. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's 2004 Overview of Texas Water Quality Inventory and List (284 KBytes). The report is submitted every two years to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
  2. Reservoir and Lake Use Support Assessment (3 MByte)
  3. Groundwater Assessment (3.5 MByte)
  4. TCEQ Surface Water Quality Viewer

Revised on: 6 October, 2008

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