Chemical loads from ground water to the Grand Calumet River and the Indiana Harbor Canal in northwestern Indiana were estimated to aid in determining the total maximum daily load. Data from two previous studies, completed in 1987 and 1993, were used to compute loads. The first study included a ground-water-flow model. Results from this model were used to determine ground-water fluxes to eight distinct reaches of the Grand Calumet River and the Indiana Harbor Canal at assumed horizontal hydraulic conductivities of 50 and 100 feet per day. In addition, water quality data collected during the first study and a second study that further described the quality of water from wells screened in the Calumet aquifer, were used with the ground-water fluxes to compute estimates of chemical loads for selected constituents contributing to the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Canal. Constituents included trace elements, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and selected general chemistry properties.
Total dissolved solids, sulfate, chloride, and dissolved ammonia as nitrogen had the largest estimated loads to the Grand Calumet River and the Indiana Harbor Canal for any river reach. The estimated loads for total dissolved solids ranged from 239 to 12,800 kilograms per day. Dissolved iron had the largest estimated load for the trace elements and exceeded 1 kilogram per day for all river reaches for which data were available. The majority of ground-water concentrations for polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons were reported as less than the method reporting limit, resulting in small computed loads to the river and canal.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
An Estimate of Chemical Loads from Ground Water to the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Canal, Northwestern Indiana