The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Idaho Power Company, collected water-column and bed-sediment core samples from eight sites in Brownlee Reservoir near Oxbow, Oregon, during May 5–7, 2012. Water-column and bed-sediment core samples were collected at each of the eight sites and analyzed for total mercury and methylmercury. Additional bed-sediment core samples, collected from three of the eight sites, were analyzed for pesticides and other organic compounds, trace metals, and physical characteristics, such as particle size.
Total mercury and methylmercury were detected in each of the water column and bed-sediment core samples. Only 17 of the 417 unique pesticide and organic compounds were detected in bed-sediment core samples. Concentrations of most organic wastewater compounds detected in bed sediment were less than the reporting level. Trace metals detected were greater than the reporting level in all the bed-sediment core samples submitted for analysis. The particle size distribution of bed-sediment core samples was predominantly clay mixed with silt.