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Reconnaissance investigation of water quality, bottom sediment, and biota associated with irrigation drainage in Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge and adjacent areas of the Milk River basin, northeastern Montana, 1986-87

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4243

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Abstract

Concentrations of trace elements, radiochemicals, and pesticides in the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge lakes generally were not substantially larger than those in the water supplied from Dodson South Canal or in irrigation drainage. Concentrations of arsenic (47 micrograms/L), uranium (43 microg/L), and vanadium (51 microg/L) in Dry Lake Unit, and boron (1,000 microg/L) in Lake Bowdoin were notably larger than at other sites. Zinc concentrations in an irrigation drain (56 microg/L) and two shallow domestic wells (40 and 47 microg/L) were elevated relative to other sites. Concentrations of gross alpha radiation (64 picocuries/L) and gross beta radiation (71 picocuries/L) were elevated in Dry Lake Unit. Pesticides concentrations at all sites were 0.08 microg/L or less. Water use guidelines concentrations for boron, cadmium, uranium, zinc, and gross alpha radiation were slightly exceeded at several sites. In general, trace-constituent concentrations measured in the water do not indicate any potential toxicity problems in Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge; however, highwater conditions in 1986 probably caused dilution of dissolved constituents compared to recent dry years. Trace element concentrations in bottom sediments of the refuge lakes were generally similar to background concentrations in the soils. The only exception was Dry Lake Unit, which had concentrations of chromium (99 micrograms/g), copper (37 microg/g), nickel (37 microg/g), vanadium (160 microg/g), and zinc (120 microg/g) that were about double the mean background concentrations. The maximum selenium concentration in bottom sediment was 0.6 microg/g. Pesticide concentrations in bottom sediments were less than analytical detection limits at all sites. With few exceptions, concentrations of trace elements and pesticides in biota generally were less than values known to produce harmful effects on growth or reproduction. (Lantz-PTT)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Reconnaissance investigation of water quality, bottom sediment, and biota associated with irrigation drainage in Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge and adjacent areas of the Milk River basin, northeastern Montana, 1986-87
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
87-4243
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1988
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 71 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.