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Recently Added Products in Water Quality and Drinking Water

 

thumbnail new Assessing Metals and PAHs in Urban Sediment in Milwaukee and Madison Wisconsin –USGS, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, measured concentrations of select metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) sand and silt particles that make up urban sediment. Metals were found at high, but not toxic, levels; high levels of PAHs were found in the majority of sand and silt samples. All sources of sediment showed some level of toxic potential with stormwater bed sediment the highest followed by stormwater suspended, street dirt, and streambed. Many treatment structures are designed to capture coarse sediment but do not work well to similarly capture the finer particles, such as in stormwater. (Press release; Report)

 

thumbnail new Nutrient Yields Related to Watershed Settings in Central and Eastern North Carolina –USGS, in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality, assessed nutrient yields in watersheds in central and eastern North Carolina, 1997-2008. Based on monitoring at 48 stream sites, the study establishes relations among watershed variables that affect nutrient export. Findings can be used to support the development and prioritization of management strategies for restoring nutrient-impaired streams. (Report)

 

thumbnail new Stream Quality in Johnson County, Kansas –USGS, in cooperation with Johnson County Stormwater Management Program, assessed stream quality on the basis of land use, hydrology, stream-water and streambed-sediment chemistry, riparian and in-stream habitat, and periphyton and macroinvertebrate community data collected from 22 sites during 2002 through 2010. Stream conditions at the end of the study period were evaluated and compared to previous years; and stream biological communities and physical and chemical conditions are characterized and described relative to Kansas Department of Health and Environment impairment categories and water-quality standards. The information is thereby useful for improving water-quality management programs, documenting changing conditions with time, and evaluating compliance with water-quality standards, total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit conditions, and other established guidelines and goals. (Report)

 

thumbnail new Sediment Transport in Northeast Kansas –USGS, in cooperation with the Kansas Water Office, investigated sediment transport to and from three small impoundments (average surface area of 0.1 to 0.8 square miles) in northeast Kansas during March 2009 through September 2011. Streamgages and continuous turbidity sensors were operated upstream and downstream from Atchison County, Banner Creek, and Centralia Lakes to study the effect of varied watershed characteristics and agricultural practices on sediment transport in small watersheds in northeast Kansas. (Report)

 

thumbnail new Elevated Arsenic in Groundwater in Pennsylvania –USGS, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Environmental Protection, developed maps depicting areas in the state most likely to have elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater. The research is not intended to predict arsenic levels for individual wells; its purpose is to predict the probability of elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater in different aquifers. Study results and associated probability maps provide water-resource managers and health officials with useful data as they consider management actions in areas where groundwater is most likely to contain elevated levels of arsenic. (Press release; Report and maps)

 

thumbnail new Colorado Piceance Basin Water-Quality Reports Now Available –More than 50 years of water-quality data in the Piceance Basin in western Colorado are now available through voluntary efforts between the USGS and more than 25 energy producers and local, state, and federal agencies. The need for this baseline water-resources assessment was identified by energy producers and local governments to address concerns regarding potential changes to surface-water and groundwater resources as large-scale energy development and population growth occur in the Piceance Basin. Data from 1,545 wells collected from1946 through 2009 were compiled, evaluated, and compared with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking-water standards and are published in a USGS groundwater quality report.  Additionally, 347 surface-water sites were compared to EPA drinking-water and Colorado State standards and are published in a separate surface-water report.  The resulting data repository is the most comprehensive collection of Piceance Basin water-quality sampling information available in a single location. (Press release)

 

thumbnail new Groundwater Quality Data Available for San Francisco, Madeira County, and the desert region of southern California –USGS, in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program’s Priority Basin Project (PBP), released groundwater quality data in 3 basins. The USGS is monitoring and assessing water quality in 120 priority groundwater basins across California over a 10-year period. Selected findings for the 3 basins show that

  • Barium and nitrate were detected at high concentrations in 5 percent of untreated groundwater used for public-water supply in the San Francisco Bay region, while human-made organic chemical constituents were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent. Detections were less prevalent than monitored elsewhere in California (Press release; Fact Sheet)
  • Arsenic, uranium, fumigants and nitrate were detected at high concentrations in untreated groundwater at depths in the aquifer system typically used for public water supply in the Madera County region of California’s San Joaquin Valley (Press release; Report; Fact Sheet)
  • Inorganic elements - arsenic, boron, fluoride, and five other inorganic elements - were detected at high concentrations in 35 percent of untreated groundwater used for public water supply in the desert region of southern California. In contrast, human-made organic chemical constituents and nitrate were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent of the desert region’s aquifers (Press release; Report)

 

thumbnail new Water Quality in the Fayetteville Shale Gas-Production Area, North-Central Arkansas –USGS, in cooperation with the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission, Duke University, Faulkner County, Shirley Community Development Corporation, and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, examined water quality in 127 shallow domestic wells in the Fayetteville Shale natural gas production area of Arkansas and found no groundwater contamination associated with gas production. Scientists analyzed water-quality data from samples taken in Van Buren and Faulkner counties in 2011, focusing on chloride concentrations from 127 wells and methane concentrations and carbon isotope ratios from a subsample of 51 wells. Chloride is a naturally occurring ion that is found at elevated levels in waters associated with gas production. Chloride moves easily through groundwater without reacting with other ions or compounds in solution, which thereby makes it a good indicator of whether chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing are reaching groundwater. In this case, the chloride concentrations from this study were not higher than samples taken from nearby areas from 1951 through 1983. Methane is the primary component of natural gas, but also can be found naturally in shallow shale formations in the Fayetteville Shale area that are used as sources of water for domestic supplies. What methane was found in the water, taken from domestic wells, was either naturally occurring, or could not be attributed to natural gas production activities. (Full report; Press release)

 

thumbnail new Sources and Characteristics of Organic Matter Related to the Formation of Disinfection By-Products in Treated Drinking Water
in the Clackamas River, Oregon –USGS, in cooperation with Clackamas River Water and the City of Lake Oswego, characterized the amount and quality of organic matter in the Clackamas River to gain an understanding of sources that contribute to the formation of chlorinated and brominated disinfection by-products. (Report)

 

thumbnail new Continuous Water Quality Available for Mattawoman Creek, Maryland –USGS, in cooperation with the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management, Maryland Department of the Environment, and Maryland Geological Survey, assessed discrete and continuous water-quality monitoring data for Mattawoman Creek in Charles County, Maryland, 2000–11. Mattawoman Creek is a fourth-order Maryland tributary to the tidal freshwater Potomac River; the creek’s watershed is experiencing development pressure due to its proximity to Washington, D.C. Data were analyzed for the purpose of describing ambient water quality, identifying potential contaminant sources, and quantifying nutrient and sediment loads to the tidal freshwater Mattawoman estuary. (Report)

 

thumbnail new Aquatic Science Documents Substantial Improvements in Lakes Mead and Mohave, Nevada –USGS, in cooperation and partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Southern Nevada Water Authority, BIO-WEST, University of Nevada, Reno, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, document substantial improvements in Lakes Mead and Mohave, which are centerpieces of Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  (Press release; USGS Circular)

 

thumbnail new Water Quality Affects Aquatic Health in Urban Streams in Kansas City and Independence, Missouri –USGS, in cooperation with the City of Independence, Missouri Water Pollution Control Department, used macroinvertebrate populations as an indicator of stream health in downstream areas of the Blue River and Little Blue River basins, which are both affected by urban development. Differences were noted in aquatic-life status because of effects of stormwater, wastewater discharges, and upstream reservoirs. (Technical announcement; Report)

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