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Project ID: 2006ID57B

Title: Assessment of Impacts of Population Growth on Ground Water Nitrate Loading in Teton County, Idaho

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District: Second

Focus Categories: Nitrate Contamination, Groundwater, Water Quality

Keywords: Ground-water quality, nitrate contamination, septic system siting

Principal Investigators: Cosgrove, Donna

Federal Funds: $14,999

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $33,267

Abstract: The rapid development of subdivisions in rural areas is causing increasing concerns over potential impacts to ground water supply and quality throughout the State of Idaho. Housing developments in Teton County, Idaho which rely on septic systems are of particular concern to Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) and interested citizen's groups. IDEQ, the Valley Advocates for Responsible Development and the Friends of the Teton River approached the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute, seeking help in assessing whether the new IDEQ guidelines for septic system siting provided sufficient protection in the Teton River valley. The proposed project seeks to a) establish a baseline of nitrate levels throughout the Teton Valley, b) assess the local hydrology and establish reasonable ranges for parameters used in the IDEQ Level 1 Nutrient-Pathogen evaluations, c) evaluate whether more stringent rules for the siting of septic systems are warranted in the Teton Valley, d) provide a rough estimate of the current nitrate loading in the valley due to septic systems and e) evaluate whether more research on nitrate loading is required in the Teton Valley. Failure to engage in these activities during development planning may ultimately result in costly remediation activities at a later date.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 02, 2008
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