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Quality of water on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, northeastern Kansas, February 1999 through February 2001

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2001-4196

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Abstract

Water-quality samples were collected from 20 surface-water sites and 7 ground-water sites across the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation in northeastern Kansas as part of a water-quality study begun in 1996. Water quality is a very important consideration for the tribe. Three creeks draining the reservation, Soldier, Little Soldier, and South Cedar Creeks, are important tribal resources used for maintaining subsistence fishing and hunting needs for tribal members. Samples were collected twice during June 1999 and June 2000 at all 20 surface-water sites after herbicide application, and nine quarterly samples were collected at 5 of the 20 sampling sites from February 1999 through February 2001. Samples were collected once at six wells and twice at one well from September through December 2000. Surface-water-quality constituents analyzed included nutrients, pesticides, and bacteria. In addition to nutrients, pesticides, and bacteria, ground-water constituents analyzed included major dissolved ions, arsenic, boron, and dissolved iron and manganese. The median nitrite plus nitrate concentration was 0.376 mg/L (milligram per liter) for 81 surface-water samples, and the maximum concentration was 4.18 mg/L as nitrogen, which is less than one-half the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for drinking water of 10 mg/L as nitrogen. Fifty-one of the 81 surface-water-quality samples exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended goal for total phosphorus of 0.10 mg/L for the protection of aquatic life. Triazine concentrations in 26 surface-water-quality samples collected during May and June 1999 and 2000 exceeded 3.0 ?g/L (micrograms per liter), the Maximum Contaminant Level established for drinking water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Triazine herbicide concentrations tended to be highest during late spring runoff after herbicide application. High concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria in surface water are a concern on the reservation with fecal coliform concentrations ranging from 4 to greater than 31,000 colonies per 100 milliliters of water with a median concentration of 570 colonies per 100 milliliters. More than one-half of the surface-water-quality samples exceeded the Kansas Department of Health and Environment contact recreation criteria of 200 and 2,000 colonies per 100 milliliters of water and were collected mostly during the spring and summer. Two wells had sodium concentrations of about 10 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agengy health advisory level (HAL) of 20 mg/L; concentrations ranged from 241 to 336 mg/L. In water from two wells, sulfate concentrations exceeded 800 mg/L, more than three times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) for drinking water of 250 mg/L. All but two of the eight ground-water-quality samples had dissolved-solids concentrations exceeding the SMCL of 500 mg/L. The highest concentration of 2,010 mg/L was more than four times the SMCL. Dissolved boron concentrations exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 600-?g/L HAL in water from two of the seven wells sampled. Because the HAL is for a lifetime of exposure, the anticipated health risk due to dissolved boron is low. Dissolved iron concentrations in ground-water samples exceeded the 300-?g/L SMCL for treated drinking water in three of the seven wells sampled. Dissolved manganese concentrations in water from the same three wells also exceeded the established SMCL of 50 ?g/L. Dissolved pesticides were not detected in any of the well samples; however, there were degradation products of the herbicides alachlor and metolachlor in several samples. Insecticides were not detected in any ground-water-quality samples. Low concentrations of E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria were detected in water from two wells, and E. coli was detected in water from one well. Much higher concentrations of E. coli, fecal coliform, and fecal strepto

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Quality of water on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, northeastern Kansas, February 1999 through February 2001
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2001-4196
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2001
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
51 p.