Lunga Reservoir is on the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Quantico, which is in the Potomac River basin and the Piedmont Physiographic Province of northern Virginia. Because of the potential use of the reservoir for scuba-diver training and public water supply in addition to current recreational activities, the U.S. Marine Corps wanted to know more about the water quality of Lunga Reservoir and how it compared to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia State Water Control Board ambient water-quality standards.
Water samples and physical properties were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey at 6 locations throughout Lunga Reservoir, and physical properties were collected at 11 additional locations in the reservoir from September 2004 through August 2005. Water samples for analysis of pesticides and bottom-material trace elements were collected once during the study at four of the sampling locations.
Water temperature, dissolved-oxygen concentration, specific conductance, pH, and total chlorophyll concentration in Lunga Reservoir all had similar seasonal and spatial variations as in other lakes and reservoirs in this geographic region - thermal gradient in the summer and fall and isothermal conditions in the winter and early spring. Concentrations of water-quality indicators in Lunga Reservoir were within comparable levels of those in other reservoirs and did not violate the Virginia State Water Control Board standards for public water supplies.
Water temperatures throughout Lunga Reservoir during the study period ranged from 4.4 to 30.1 degrees Celsius, well below the State Water Control Board maximum water temperature criteria of 32 degrees Celsius. Dissolved-oxygen concentrations ranged from 0.05 to 14.1 milligrams per liter throughout the reservoir during the study period, but never fell below the State Water Control Board minimum dissolved-oxygen criterion of 4.0 milligrams per liter at the surface of Lunga Reservoir. Specific conductance throughout Lunga Reservoir ranged from 29 to 173 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius during the study period, with a mean specific conductance of 68 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius. Measurements of pH throughout the reservoir ranged from 4.8 to 7.6 standard units.
Concentrations of chemical constituents analyzed in Lunga Reservoir samples were below any State Water Control Board criteria and generally were similar in concentration to the same chemical constituents in other reservoirs in the State. Four water samples were analyzed for 54 pesticides, and none of these pesticides were above the laboratory minimum reporting level.