thumbnail

Evaluation of background concentrations of selected chemical and radiochemical constituents in water from the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer at and near the Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho

Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5056

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy
By:
and
https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20165056

Links

Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Oversight Program in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy determined background concentrations of selected chemical and radiochemical constituents in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer to aid with ongoing cleanup efforts at the INL. Chemical and radiochemical constituents including calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, silica, chloride, sulfate, fluoride, bicarbonate, chromium, nitrate, tritium, strontium-90, chlorine-36, iodine-129, plutonium-238, plutonium-239, -240 (undivided), americium-241, technetium-99, uranium-234, uranium-235, and uranium-238 were selected for the background study because they were either not analyzed in earlier studies or new data became available to give a more recent determination of background concentrations. Samples of water collected from wells and springs at and near the INL that were not believed to be influenced by wastewater disposal were used to identify background concentrations. Groundwater in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer at and near the INL was divided into two major water types (western tributary and eastern regional) based on concentrations of lithium less than and greater than 5 micrograms per liter (μg/L). Median concentrations for each constituent were used to define the upper limit of background.

The upper limit of background concentrations for inorganic chemicals for western tributary water was 40.7 milligrams per liter (mg/L) for calcium, 15.3 mg/L for magnesium, 8.30 mg/L for sodium, 2.32 mg/L for potassium, 23.1 mg/L for silica, 11.8 mg/L for chloride, 21.4 mg/L for sulfate, 0.20 mg/L for fluoride, 176 mg/L for bicarbonate, 4.00 μg/L for chromium, and 0.655 mg/L for nitrate.

The upper limit of background concentrations for inorganic chemicals for eastern regional water was 34.05 mg/L for calcium, 13.85 mg/L for magnesium, 14.85 mg/L for sodium, 3.22 mg/L for potassium, 31.0 mg/L for silica, 14.15 mg/L for chloride, 20.2 mg/L for sulfate, 0.4675 mg/L for fluoride, 165 mg/L for bicarbonate, 3.00 μg/L for chromium, and 0.995 mg/L for nitrate.

The upper limit of background concentrations for radiochemical constituents for western tributary water was 34.15 ±2.35 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) for tritium, 0.00098 ±0.00006 pCi/L for chlorine-36, 0.000011 ±0.000005 pCi/L for iodine-129, <0.0000054 pCi/L for technetium-99, 0 pCi/L for strontium-90, plutonium-238, plutonium-239, -240 (undivided), and americium-241, 1.36 pCi/L with undetermined uncertainty for uranium-234, 0.025 ±0.001 pCi/L for uranium-235, and 0.541 ±0.001 pCi/L for uranium-238.

The upper limit of background concentrations for radiochemical constituents for eastern regional water was 5.43 ±0.574 pCi/L for tritium, 0.0002048 ±0.0000054 pCi/L for chlorine-36, 0.000000865 ±0.000000015 pCi/L for iodine-129, <0.0000054 pCi/L for technetium-99, 0 pCi/L for strontium-90, plutonium-238, plutonium-239, -240 (undivided), and americium-241, 1.32 ±0.77 pCi/L for uranium-234, 0.016 ±0.012 pCi/L for uranium-235, and 0.477 ±0.044 pCi/L for uranium-238.

Suggested Citation

Bartholomay, R.C., and Hall, L.F., 2016, Evaluation of background concentrations of selected chemical and radiochemical constituents in water from the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer at and near the Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5056, (DOE/ID-22237), 19 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165056.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods of Data Analyses
  • Background Concentrations of Selected Chemical Constituents
  • Background Concentrations of Selected Radiochemical Constituents
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendixes

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Evaluation of background concentrations of selected chemical and radiochemical constituents in water from the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer at and near the Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2016-5056
DOI:
10.3133/sir20165056
Year Published:
2016
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Idaho Water Science Center
Description:
Report: v, 19 p.; Appendixes A-C
Country:
United States
State:
Idaho
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
Y