Lake Arrowhead is a reservoir about 24 kilometers southeast of Wichita Falls, Texas, that provides drinking water for the city of Wichita Falls and surrounding areas. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the City of Wichita Falls, did a study in 2006 to assess conditions contributing to elevated arsenic concentrations in Lake Arrowhead. This report describes the sampling and analytical methods, quality assurance, and physicochemical and analytical data. Physiochemical properties were measured in and water samples were collected from five tributaries to Lake Arrowhead (Little Wichita River, West Little Post Oak Creek, East Little Post Oak Creek, Deer Creek, and an unnamed tributary) immediately after storms. Lake water measuring and sampling were done approximately monthly from January through September 2006 at three deep-water sites and seasonally, in January and August 2006, at three shallow-water sites. Cores of lake bottom sediment were collected from five sites on August 30, 2006. Arsenic concentrations in tributary water samples ranged from 1.5 to 6.3 and 0.5 to 4.8 micrograms per liter for unfiltered and filtered samples, respectively. The highest arsenic concentrations were in samples collected from the West Little Post Oak Creek sampling site. Physicochemical properties in lake water varied with depth and season. Dissolved arsenite plus arsenate concentrations in lake water samples generally were between 3 and 5 micrograms per liter. Arsenite concentrations typically were below the laboratory reporting level of 0.6 microgram per liter. There were no detections of monomethylarsonate or dimethylarsinate. The concentration of arsenic in lake sediment samples ranged from 4.4 to 11.2 milligrams per kilogram, with a median of 6.4 milligrams per kilogram. The median arsenic concentration of the five top-interval sediment samples was 8.8 milligrams per kilogram, which generally is higher than the concentrations estimated to be on suspended sediment in the tributaries. Sediment concentrations of seven trace elements were compared to two consensus-based sediment quality guidelines for each: the threshold effect concentration and the probable effect concentration. Arsenic concentration exceeded the threshold effect concentration in one top-interval sediment sample.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Physicochemical and Analytical Data for Tributary Water, Lake Water, and Lake Sediment, Lake Arrowhead, Clay and Archer Counties, Texas, 2006