The Groveland-Collins area near Blackfoot, Idaho, has a history of either periodic or persistent localized groundwater contamination. Water users in the area report offensive smell, metallic taste, rust deposits, and bacteria in water supplies. During 1984 and 1985, data were collected to define regional and local geologic, hydrologic, and groundwater quality conditions, and to identify factors that may have affected local groundwater quality. Infiltration or leakage of irrigation water is the major source of groundwater recharge, and water levels may fluctuate 15 ft or more during the irrigation season. Groundwater movement is generally northwestward. Groundwater contains predominantly calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate ions and characteristically has more than 200 mg/L hardness. Groundwater near the Groveland-Collins area may be contaminated from one or more sources, including infiltration of sewage effluent, gasoline or liquid fertilizer spillage, or land application of food processing wastewater. Subsurface basalt ridges impede lateral movement of water in localized areas. Groundwater pools temporarily behind these ridges and anomalously high water levels result. Maximum concentrations or values of constituents that indicate contamination were 1,450 microsiemens/cm specific conductance, 630 mg/L bicarbonate (as HCO3), 11 mg/L nitrite plus nitrate (as nitrogen), 7.3 mg/L ammonia (as nitrogen), 5.9 mg/L organic nitrogen, 4.4 mg/L dissolved organic carbon, 7,000 micrograms/L dissolved iron, 5 ,100 microgram/L dissolved manganese, and 320 microgram/L dissolved zinc. Dissolved oxygen concentrations ranged from 8.9 mg/L in uncontaminated areas to 0 mg/L in areas where food processing wastewater is applied to the land surface. Stable-isotope may be useful in differentiating between contamination from potato-processing wastewater and whey in areas where both are applied to the land surface. Development of a ground-water model to evaluate effects of land applications of organic wastewater and organic solute loading rates on subsurface water quality is not feasible at this time.
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USGS Numbered Series
Hydrogeology and water quality of areas with persistent ground- water contamination near Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho