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Water-quality characteristics of the Columbia Plateau regional aquifer system in parts of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4242

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Abstract

Water quality data for the period 1982 through 1983 from about 350 wells in three Miocene basalt units in the Columbia Plateau regional aquifer system, Washington, show that the quality of groundwater generally is suitable for most uses. The dominant water type is calcium magnesium bicarbonate at shallow depths, and evolves toward sodium bicarbonate at depth. Calcium magnesium sulfate chloride type waters occur less commonly and are associated with shallow wells, the absence of a thick overburden, and agricultural land use. Dissolved-solids concentrations generally are less than 500 mg/L. Water in the Saddle Mountains unit has a mean dissolved-solids concentration of 488 mg/L. Nitrogen species and sulfate concentrations relate to overburden thickness and land use. Water in the Wanapum unit, below the Saddle Mountains unit, has a mean dissolved- solids concentration of 270 mg/L. High nitrogen concentrations (10 mg/L or greater) occur mostly in wells with depths less than 300 ft in areas with little or no overburden in the central part of the plateau. The Grande Ronde unit, below the Wanapum, has the lowest mean dissolved- solids concentrations, 230 mg/L, and nitrogen concentrations ar less than 2 mg/L. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water-quality characteristics of the Columbia Plateau regional aquifer system in parts of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
87-4242
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1989
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; Books and Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
Description:
v, 37 p. :ill. ;28 cm.