In cooperation with the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey investigated water quality of key water bodies at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial near Lincoln City in southwestern Indiana. The key water bodies were
a stock pond, representing possible nonpoint agricultural effects on water quality;
an ephemeral stream, representing the water quality of drainage from forested areas of the park;
parking-lot runoff, representing water quality related to roads and parking lots;
an unnamed ditch below the parking lot, representing the water quality of drainage from the parking lot and from an adjacent railroad track; and
Lincoln Spring, a historical ground-water source representing ground-water conditions near a former diesel-fuel-spill site along a rail line.
Water samples were analyzed for pH, temperature, specific conductance, and dissolved oxygen and for concentrations of selected major ions and trace metals, nutrients, organic constituents, and Escherichia coli bacteria. Surface-water-quality data of water samples from the park represent baseline conditions for the area in relation to the data available from previous studies of area streams. Specific-conductance values and concentrations of most major ions and various nutrients in surface-water samples from the park were smaller than those reported for samples collected in other USGS studies in areas adjacent to the park. Water-quality-management issues identified by this investigation include potentially impaired water quality from parking-lot runoff, unknown effects on surface-water quality from adjacent railroads, and the potential impairment of water quality in Lincoln Spring from human influences. Parking-lot runoff is a source of calcium, alkalinity, iron, lead, and organic carbon in the water samples from the unnamed ditch. Detection of small concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in water from Lincoln Spring could indicate residual contamination from a 1995 diesel-fuel spill and cleanup. The concentration of nitrite plus nitrate in water from Lincoln Spring was 16.5 milligrams per liter as nitrogen, greater than the State of Indiana standard for nitrate in drinking water (10 milligrams per liter as nitrogen). Lead concentrations in samples from the stock pond, parking-lot runoff, and the unnamed ditch exceeded the Indiana chronic aquatic criteria.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Reconnaissance of surface-water and ground-water quality at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial near Lincoln City, Indiana, 2001-02