Water, bed-sediment, and fish sampling was conducted in Mittry Lake, Arizona, in 2014–15 to establish current water-quality conditions of the lake. The parameters of temperature, dissolved-oxygen concentration, specific conductance, and alkalinity were measured in the field. Water samples were collected and analyzed for dissolved major ions, dissolved trace elements, dissolved nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved pesticides, bacteria, and suspended-sediment concentrations. Bed-sediment and fish samples were analyzed for trace elements, halogenated compounds, total mercury, and methylmercury.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency secondary maximum contaminant levels in drinking water were exceeded for sulfate, chloride, and manganese in the water samples. Trace-element concentrations were relatively similar between the inlet, middle, and outlet locations. Concentrations for nutrients in all water samples were below the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s water-quality standards for aquatic and wildlife uses, and all bacteria levels were below the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s recommended recreational water-quality criteria. Three out of 81 pesticides were detected in the water samples.
Trace-element concentrations in bed sediment were relatively consistent between the inlet, middle, and outlet locations. Lead, manganese, nickel, and zinc concentrations, however, decreased from the inlet to outlet locations. Concentrations for lead, nickel, and zinc in some bed-sediment samples exceeded consensus-based sediment-quality guidelines probable effect concentrations. Eleven out of 61 halogenated compounds were detected in bed sediment at the inlet location, whereas three were detected at the middle location, and five were detected at the outlet location. No methylmercury was detected in bed sediment. Total mercury was detected in bed sediment at concentrations below the consensus-based sediment-quality guidelines probable effect concentration.
Sixteen trace elements were detected in at least one of the fish-tissue samples, and trace-element concentrations were relatively consistent between the three fish-tissue samples. Seven halogenated compounds were detected in at least one of the whole-body fish samples; four to five compounds were detected in each fish. One fish-tissue sample exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency human health consumption criteria for methylmercury.
Hermosillo, E., and Coes, A.L., 2017, Characterization of the quality of water, bed sediment, and fish in Mittry Lake, Arizona, 2014–15: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5008, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175008.
ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)
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Characterization of the quality of water, bed sediment, and fish in Mittry Lake, Arizona, 2014–15