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Fact Sheet 2011–3035

In cooperation with the City of Austin, City of Dripping Springs, Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, Lower Colorado River Authority, Hays County, and Travis County

Nitrate Concentrations and Potential Sources in the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer and Its Contributing Zone, Central Texas

By Barbara J. Mahler,1 MaryLynn Musgrove,1 and Chris Herrington2

1 U.S. Geological Survey

2 City of Austin


Thumbnail of and link to Fact Sheet PDF (1.47 MB)

The area contributing recharge to Barton Springs is undergoing rapid growth, accompanied by increased generation of wastewater. This study found that nitrate, a major component of wastewater and a nutrient that can degrade water quality, has increased in Barton Springs and the creeks that provide its recharge.

First posted May 16, 2011

For additional information contact:
Director, Texas Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
1505 Ferguson Lane
Austin, TX 78754-4501

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Mahler, B.J., Musgrove, MaryLynn, and Herrington, Chris, 2011, Nitrate concentrations and potential sources in the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards aquifer and its contributing zone, Central Texas: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011–3035, 4 p.


Key Findings

Nutrients and Nitrate

Isotopic Ratios of Nitrate as a Tracer of Sources

What Does the Future Hold?


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