Water quality data from 55 monitoring wells during drought conditions surrounding Lake Texoma, located on the border of Oklahoma and Texas, was compared to assess the influence of drought on groundwater quality. During the drought month of October, water table levels were three feet (0.9 m) lower compared with several months earlier under predrought climate conditions. Detection frequencies of nitrate (> 0.1 mg/l), orthophosphates (> 0.1 mg/l), chlorides (> MCL), and sulfates (> MCL) all increased during drought. Orthophosphate level was higher during drought. Largest increases in concentration were nitrate under both agriculture lands and in septic tank areas. An increase in ammonium-nitrogen was only detected in the septic tank area. The study showed that stressors such as nitrate and total salts could potentially become a health or environmental problem during drought.
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Groundwater quality surrounding Lake Texoma during short-term drought conditions