A statistical screening method has been developed using Tolerance Limits for barium (Ba+2) to identify contamination of a fresh-water aquifer by oilfield brines. The method requires an understanding of the local hydrochemistry of oilfield brines, inexpensive, publicly available hydrochemical data, a single sample analysis from the suspect well and the application of a simple statistical procedure. While this method may not provide absolute evidence of oilfield brine contamination of a fresh-water aquifer, it does identify conditions where brine contamination is a strong probability over other possible sources of chlorides.

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