Reconnaissance for trace metals in bed sediment, Wright Patman Lake, near Texarkana, Texas

Fact Sheet 068-01
In cooperation with the Texarkana Water Utilities



Many contaminants can be introduced into the environment by urban and industrial activities. The drainage area of Wright Patman Lake is influenced by these activities. Among the contaminants associated with urban and industrial activities are trace metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and zinc. These contaminants are relatively insoluble in water and commonly are found in stream, lake, and reservoir bottom sediment, especially the clays and silts within the sediment.

Wright Patman Lake serves as the major potable water supply for the city of Texarkana and surrounding communities. Texarkana, located in the northeastern corner of Texas and the southwestern corner of Arkansas, had a population of about 56,000 in 1998, which reflects an increase of about 3.4 percent from the 1990 census (Ramos, 1999).

Texarkana Water Utilities, which manages the water-treatment facilities for Texarkana, proposes to dredge the lake bed near the water intake in the Elliot Creek arm of Wright Patman Lake. It is possible that arsenic, lead, mercury, and other trace metals might be released into the water if the bed sediment is disturbed. Bed sediment in the Elliot Creek arm of the lake, in particular, could contain trace metals because of its proximity to Red River Army Depot and because industrial land use is prevalent in the headwaters of Elliot Creek.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with Reconnaissance for Trace Metals in Bed Sediment, Wright Patman Lake, Near Texarkana, Texas In cooperation with the Texarkana Water Utilities conducted a reconnaissance of Wright Patman Lake to collect bed-sediment samples for analysis of trace metals. This report presents trace metal concentrations in bed-sediment samples collected at six sites along the Elliot Creek arm of the lake, one site each in two adjacent arms, and one site near the dam on June 16, 1999 (fig. 1). One bed-sediment sample was collected at each of the nine sites, and one sediment core was collected at each of two of the sites. Trace metal concentrations are compared to sediment-quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life and to screening levels based on historical trace metal concentrations in bed sediment of Texas reservoirs.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Reconnaissance for trace metals in bed sediment, Wright Patman Lake, near Texarkana, Texas
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 068-01
DOI 10.3133/fs06801
Year Published 2001
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Texas Water Science Center
Description HTML Document; Report: 6 p.
Country United States
State Texas
Other Geospatial Wright Patman Lake