Controlled artificial recharge of surface runoff is being considered as a water-management technique to address the problem of ground-water overdraft. The planned use of recharge facilities in urban areas has caused concern about the quality of urban runoff to be recharged and the potential for ground-water contamination. The proposed recharge facility in Rillito Creek will utilize runoff entering a 1-mile reach of the Rillito Creek between Craycroft Road and Swan Road for infiltration and recharge purposes within the channel and excavated overbank areas. Physical and chemical data were collected from two surface-water and two ground-water sites in the study area in 1994. Analyses of surface-water samples were done to determine the occurrence and concentration of potential contaminants and to determine changes in quality since samples were collected during 1987-93. Analyses of ground-water samples were done to determine the variability of ground-water quality at the monitoring wells throughout the year and to determine changes in quality since samples were collected in 1989 and 1993. Surface-water samples were collected from Tanque Verde Creek at Sabino Canyon Road (streamflow-gaging station Tanque Verde Creek at Tucson, 09484500) and from Alamo Wash at Fort Lowell Road in September and May 1994, respectively. Ground-water samples were collected from monitoring wells (D- 13-14)26cbb2 and (D-13-14)26dcb2 in January, May, July, and October 1994. In surface water, calcium was the dominant cation, and bicarbonate was the dominant anion. In ground water, calcium and sodium were the dominant cations and bicarbonate was the dominant anion. Surface water in the area is soft, and ground water is moderately hard to hard. In surface water and ground water, nitrogen was found predominantly as nitrate. Concentrations of manganese in ground-water samples ranged from 60 to 230 micrograms per liter and exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency secondary maximum contaminant level for drinking water of 50 micrograms per liter. None of the constituents in surface-water and ground-water samples exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency primary maximum contaminant levels for drinking water or State of Arizona aquifer water-quality standards. Concentrations of major ions, nutrients, and trace elements in water from the monitoring wells did not vary significantly throughout the year and were not significantly different from concentrations in samples collected in March 1989 and January and September 1993. Priority pollutants were not found in surface-water samples or ground-water samples, and organochlorine pesticides were not found in ground-water samples. Dieldrin and biphenyl polychlor were the only pesticides found in surface water and were at the minimum reporting levels in one sample from Alamo Wash.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Quality of surface water and ground water in the proposed artificial-recharge project area, Rillito Creek basin, Tucson, Arizona, 1994
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Open-File Section [distributor],