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Hydrogeology of a Biosolids-Application Site Near Deer Trail, Colorado, 1993-99

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2003-4209

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Abstract

This report presents hydrogeology data and interpretations resulting from two studies related to biosolids applications at the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District property near Deer Trail, Colorado, done by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District: (1) a 1993-99 study of hydrology and water quality for the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District central property and (2) a 1999 study of regional bedrock-aquifer structure and local ground-water recharge. Biosolids were applied as a fertilizer during late 1993 through 1999. The 1993 Metro Wastewater Reclamation District property boundary constitutes the study area, but hydrogeologic structure maps for a much larger area are included in the report. The study area is located on the eastern margin of the Denver Basin, a bowl-shaped sequence of sedimentary rocks. The uppermost bedrock formations in the vicinity of the study area consist of the Pierre Shale, the Fox Hills Sandstone, and the Laramie Formation, parts of which comprise the Laramie-Fox Hills hydrostratigraphic unit and thus, where saturated, the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer. In the vicinity of the study area, the Laramie-Fox Hills hydrostratigraphic unit dips gently to the northwest, crops out, and is partially eroded. The Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer is either absent or not fully saturated within the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District properties, although this aquifer is the principal aquifer used for domestic supply in the vicinity of the study area. Yield was small from two deep monitoring wells in the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer within the study area. Depth to water in these wells was about 110 and 150 feet below land surface, and monthly water levels fluctuated 0.5 foot or less. Alluvial aquifers also are present in the unconsolidated sand and loess deposits in the valleys of the study area. Interactions of the deeper parts of the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer with shallow ground water in the study area include a general close hydraulic connection between alluvial and bedrock aquifers, recharge of the Cottonwood Creek and much of the Muddy Creek alluvial aquifers by the bedrock aquifer, and possible recharge of the bedrock aquifer by a Rattlesnake Creek tributary. Some areas of shallow ground water were recharged by infiltration from rain or ponds, but other areas likely were recharged by other ground water. Data for shallow ground water indicate that ground-water recharge takes less than a day at some sites to about 40 years at another site. Depth to shallow ground water in the study area ranged from about 2 feet to about 37 feet below land surface. Shallow ground-water levels likely were affected by evapotranspiration. Ground water is present in shallow parts of the bedrock aquifer or in alluvial aquifers in four drainage basins: Badger Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Muddy Creek, and Rattlesnake Creek. These drainage basins generally contained only ephemeral streams, which flow only after intense rain.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrogeology of a Biosolids-Application Site Near Deer Trail, Colorado, 1993-99
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2003-4209
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2003
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
90 p.