Analysis of trends in nitrate and total dissolved-solids concentrations over time in Carson Valley, Nevada, indicates that 56 percent of 27 monitoring wells that have long-term records of nitrate concentrations show increasing trends, 11 percent show decreasing trends, and 33 percent have not changed. Total dissolved-solids concentrations have increased in 52 percent of these wells and are stable in 48 percent. None of these wells show decreasing trends in total dissolved-solids concentrations. The wells showing increasing trends in nitrate and total dissolved-solids concentrations were always in areas that use septic waste-disposal systems. Therefore, the primary cause of these increases is likely the increase in septic-tank usage over the past 40 years.
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USGS Numbered Series
Trends in nitrate and dissolved-solids concentrations in ground water, Carson Valley, Douglas County, Nevada, 1985-2001