Quality of ground water in the Columbia Basin, Washington, 1983

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4320




Groundwater from 188 sites in the Columbia Basin of central Washington was sampled and analyzed in 1983 for pH, specific conductance, and concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria, major dissolved ions, and dissolved iron, manganese, and nitrate. Twenty of the samples were also analyzed for concentrations of dissolved trace metals including aluminum, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium, silver, and zinc. The predominant water types were sodium bicarbonate and calcium bicarbonate. The sodium bicarbonate water samples had higher pH, fluoride, and sodium:adsorption ratio values than samples with other water types. Dissolved solids concentrations were generally between 250 and 500 mg/L. Iron and manganese concentrations were usually < 10 micrograms/L (ug/L). Most trace metal concentrations were also < 10 ug/L except for barium and zinc, which had maximum concentrations of 170 and 600 ug/L, respectively. Nitrate concentrations were < 1.0 mg/L in water from more than half the wells sampled. Concentrations exceeded 1.0 mg/L in large areas of Lincoln, eastern Adams, Franklin and southern Grant Counties. No fecal coliform bacteria were detected. U.S. EPA drinking water regulations were exceeded in several samples, most commonly involving pH and concentrations of fluoride, nitrate, and dissolved solids in samples from Adams and Grant Counties. Generally, the historical data lead to similar conclusions about the quality of groundwater in the Columbia Basin region. However , historical samples had higher dissolved solids concentrations in Douglas County. Historical samples also included fewer sodium bicarbonate type waters in the region as a whole than the 1983 samples. These differences may be due to inconsistencies in data collection or analytical methods. (Author 's abstract)

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USGS Numbered Series
Quality of ground water in the Columbia Basin, Washington, 1983
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 172 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.