thumbnail

Reconnaissance investigation of water quality, bottom sediment, and biota associated with irrigation drainage in the Pine River Project area, Southern Ute Indian Reservation, southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico, 1988-89

Water-Resources Investigations Report 92-4188

By:
, , , , , and

Links

Abstract

During 1988-89, water, bottom sediment, biota, soil, and plants were sampled for a reconnaissance investigation of the Pine River Project area in southwestern Colorado. Irrigation drainage does not seem to be a major source of dissolved solids in streams. Concentrations of manganese, mercury, and selenium exceeded drinking-water regulations in some streams. The maximum selenium concentration in a stream sample was 94 microg/L in Rock Creek. Irrigation drainage and natural groundwater are sources of some trace elements to streams. Water from a well in a nonirrigated area had 4,800 microg/L of selenium. Selenium concentrations in soil on the Oxford Tract were greater in areas previously or presently irrigated than in areas never irrigated. Some forage plants on the Oxford Tract had large selenium concentrations, including 180 mg/km in alfalfa. Most fish samples had selenium concentrations greater than the National Contaminant Biomonitoring Program 85th percentile. Selenium concentrations in aquatic plants, aquatic inverte- brates, and small mammals may be of concern to fish and wildlife because of possible food-chain bioconcentration. Selenium concentrations in bird samples indicate selenium contamination of biota on the Oxford Tract. Mallard breasts had selenium concentrations exceeding a guideline for human consumption. The maximum selenium concentration in biota was 50 microg/g dry weight in a bird liver from the Oxford Tract. In some fish samples, arsenic, cadmium, copper, and zinc exceeded background concentrations, but concentrations were not toxic. Mercury concentrations in 16 fish samples exceeded the background concentration. Ten mercury concentrations in fish exceeded a guideline for mercury in food for consumption by pregnant women.

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 Pine River Project area, Southern Ute Indian Reservation, southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico, 1988-89
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
92-4188
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1993
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Copies of this report can be purchased from Books and Open-File Reports Section, U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 105 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.