Quality of water on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, northeastern Kansas, May 2001 through August 2003

Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5243




Water-quality samples were collected from 20 surface-water sites and 11 ground-water sites on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation in northeastern Kansas in an effort to describe existing water-quality conditions on the reservation and to compare water-quality conditions to results from previous reports published as part of a multiyear cooperative study with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Water is a valuable resource to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation as tribal members use the streams draining the reservation, Soldier, Little Soldier, and South Cedar Creeks, to fulfill subsistence hunting and fishing needs and as the tribe develops an economic base on the reservation. Samples were collected once at 20 surface-water monitoring sites during June 2001, and quarterly samples were collected at 5 of the 20 monitoring sites from May 2001 through August 2003. Ground-water-quality samples were collected once from seven wells and twice from four wells during April through May 2003 and in August 2003. Surface-water-quality samples collected from May through August 2001 were analyzed for physical properties, nutrients, pesticides, fecal indicator bacteria, and total suspended solids. In November 2001, an additional analysis for dissolved solids, major ions, trace elements, and suspended-sediment concentration was added for surface-water samples. Ground-water samples were analyzed for physical properties, dissolved solids, major ions, nutrients, trace elements, pesticides, and fecal indicator bacteria. Chemical oxygen demand and volatile organic compounds were analyzed in a sample from one monitoring well located near a construction and demolition landfill on the reservation. Previous reports published as a part of this ongoing study identified total phosphorus, triazine herbicides, and fecal coliform bacteria as exceeding their respective water-quality criteria in surface water on the reservation. Previous ground-water assessments identified occasional sample concentrations of dissolved solids, sodium, sulfate, boron, iron, and manganese as exceeding their respective water-quality criteria. Forty percent of the 65 surface-water samples analyzed for total phosphorus exceeded the aquatic-life goal of 0.1 mg/L (milligrams per liter) established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Concentrations of dissolved solids and sodium occasionally exceeded USEPA Secondary Drinking-Water Regulations and Drinking-Water Advisory Levels, respectively. One of the 20 samples analyzed for atrazine concentrations exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 3.0 ?g/L (micrograms per liter) as an annual average established for drinking water by USEPA. A triazine herbicide screen was used on 63 surface-water samples, and triazine compounds were frequently detected. Triazine herbicides and their degradates are listed on the USEPA Contaminant Candidate List. Nitrite plus nitrate concentrations in two ground-water samples from one monitoring well exceeded the MCL of 10 mg/L established by USEPA for drinking water. Arsenic concentrations in two samples from one monitoring well also exceeded the proposed MCL of 10 ?g/L established by the USEPA for drinking water. Concentrations of dissolved solids and sulfate in some ground-water samples exceeded their respective Secondary Drinking-Water Regulations, and concentrations exceeded the taste threshold of the USEPA?s Drinking-Water Advisory Level for sodium. Consequently, in the event that ground water on the reservation is to be used as a drinking-water source, additional treatment may be necessary to remove excess dissolved solids, sulfate, and sodium.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Quality of water on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, northeastern Kansas, May 2001 through August 2003
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
69 p.