In 1990, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Idaho Division of Environmental Quality (formerly Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Environmental Quality), implemented a statewide water- quality monitoring program in response to Idaho’s antidegradation policy as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA). The objective was to provide water-quality managers with a coordinated state- wide program to detect trends in surface-water quality.
The program design included chemical analyses of water samples collected at 56 sites on the Bear, Clearwater, Kootenai, Pend Oreille, Salmon, Snake, and Spokane Rivers and their tributaries (fig. 1). Samples were collected every year (1990 through 1995) at 5 sites (annual sites), every other year at 19 sites (biennial sites), and every third year at 32 sites (triennial sites). Each year, 25 of the 56 sites were sampled. During water years 1990–95 (October 1, 1989, to September 30, 1995), samples were collected bimonthly. Onsite analyses consisted of discharge, specific conductance, pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, bacteria (fecal coliform and fecal streptococci), and alkalinity. Laboratory analyses consisted of major ions, nutrients, trace elements, turbidity, and suspended sediment. Analytical results from the five annual sites sampled during water years 1990–93 are presented in a report by O’Dell and Berenbrock (1994).
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USGS Numbered Series
Changes to Idaho's statewide surface-water quality monitoring program since 1995