This paper presents a reconnaissance of naturally occurring trace element levels in the Triassic sandstones of the Wolverhampton area, and compares these with levels resulting from contamination.

The three dimensional water quality variation is discussed in terms of major element geochemistry, carbonate equilibria, oxidation-reduction and tritium.

All groundwaters to a depth of at least 100 m below the water table are oxidizing. In the Bunter Pebble Beds and the Upper Mottled sandstones, groundwaters are considerably undersaturated with respect to calcite and dolomite, although in formations above and below, saturation occurs. Post-1953 groundwater occurs only in the uppermost groundwater but some is drawn down under influence of pumping. Low nitrate levels correlate with low tritium. Natural trace metal levels generally have values within the range 1-10 μg/1.

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