The Oklahoma Water Resources Board Beneficial Use Monitoring Program reported exceedances of beneficial-use standards for chloride at 11 surface-water sampling sites from January to October 2002. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, conducted a study to determine the chloride concentrations in ground water in the vicinity of Beneficial Use Monitoring Program surface-water sampling sites not meeting beneficial use standards for chloride and compare chloride concentrations in ground water and surface water. The chloride-impaired Beneficial Use Monitoring Program surface-water sampling sites are located in the western and southern regions of Oklahoma. The ground-water sampling sites were placed in proximity to the 11 surface-water sampling sites designated impaired by chloride by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. Two surface-water sampling sites were located on the Beaver River (headwaters of the North Canadian River), three sites on the Cimarron River, one site on Sandy Creek, one site on North Fork Red River, and four sites on the Red River.
Six ground-water samples were collected, when possible, from two test holes located upstream from each of the 11 Beneficial Use Monitoring Program surface-water sampling sites. One test hole was placed on the left bank and right bank, when possible, of each Beneficial Use Monitoring Program surfacewater sampling site. All test holes were located on alluvial deposits adjacent to the Beneficial Use Monitoring Program surface-water sampling sites within 0.5 mile of the stream. Top, middle, and bottom ground-water samples were collected from the alluvium at each test hole, when possible. Water properties of specific conductance, pH, water temperature, and dissolved oxygen were recorded in the field before sampling for chloride.
The ground-water median chloride concentrations at 8 of the 11 Beneficial Use Monitoring Program sites were less than the surface-water median chloride concentrations. The Turpin and Beaver sites had similar ground-water and surface-water median chloride concentrations. The Buffalo site was the only site that had a large difference between the ground-water and surface-water chloride concentrations. The ground-water median chloride concentration was approximately 14,500 mg/L greater than the surface-water median chloride concentration at the Buffalo site.