Water-Wise in BR



Ancient oceans left vast deposits of salt across all Louisiana, including huge salt domes south and west of Baton Rouge. As these domes deteriorated, salt mixed naturally with local groundwater sources to create saltwater aquifers. The increased pumping of groundwater at Baton Rouge to meet the demands of a growing population and economy in turn has led to saltwater intrusion (also known as saltwater encroachment) from these sources into the local freshwater aquifers of the Southern Hills system.

Fortunately, the Baton Rouge Fault that stretches across most of East Baton Rouge Parish has protected local freshwater aquifers by cutting off the flow of saltwater from the south. The Fault is a "leaky barrier," though, and as water levels continue to drop inside the aquifers on the north side due to heavy use, saltwater from the south flows across. Because this saltwater is heavier than freshwater, it builds up along the bottom of freshwater aquifers, as seen in the below illustration. Saltwater intrusion has been documented in several Baton Rouge area aquifers.




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