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Reconnaissance investigation of water quality, bottom sediment, and biota associated with irrigation drainage in the middle Green River basin, Utah, 1986-87

Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4011

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Abstract

Reconnaissance of wildlife areas in the middle Green River basin of Utah was conducted during 1986 and 1987 to determine whether irrigation drainage has caused, or has the potential to cause significant harmful effects on human health, fish, and wildlife, or may adversely affect the suitability of water for beneficial uses. Studies at Stewart Lake Waterfowl Management Area and Ouray National Wildlife Refuge indicated that concentrations of boron, selenium, and zinc in water, bottom sediment, and biological tissue were sufficiently large to be harmful to fish and wildlife, and to adversely affect beneficial uses of water. Selenium is the principal element of concern in both areas. Concentrations of dissolved selenium in irrigation drain water entering Stewart Lake Waterfowl Management Area ranged from 14-140 micrograms/L (ug/L) and consistently exceeded Utah standards for wildlife protection in water in two of the four drains. Concentrations of boron and zinc exceeded Utah standards only occasionally in the drain waters. Concentrations of total selenium in sediments collected where the drains discharge into the lake were 10-85 ug/gm. Liver tissue collected from American coots at Stewart Lake Waterfowl Management Area contained concentrations of selenium from 4.9-26 ug/gm (dry weight), and whole body samples of carp contained as much as 31 ug/gm (dry weight). Concentrations of selenium in Potamogeton and blue-green algae ranged from 2.1-27 ug/gm. Concentrations of boron, selenium, and zinc were also measured in water from Ouray National Wildlife Refuge. Liver tissue of American coots from the North Roadside Pond, which receives irrigation tailwater, contained a geometric-mean concentration of selenium of 32 ug/gm (dry weight). Five water-bird eggs collected from the North and South Roadside Ponds contained selenium concentrations of 63-120 ug/gm (dry weight). (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 the middle Green River basin, Utah, 1986-87
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
88-4011
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1988
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vii, 70 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.