Link to U.S. Geological Survey home page.

In cooperation with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission

Occurrence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) on Suspended Sediment in the Donna Canal, Hidalgo County, Texas, 1999–2001

U.S. Geological Survey
Fact Sheet 016-02

By B.J. Mahler, P.C. Van Metre, and R.M. Miranda

Document Accessibility: Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools convert Adobe PDF documents into HTML or ASCII text, which then can be read by a number of common screen-reading programs that synthesize text as audible speech. In addition, an accessible version of Acrobat Reader 5.0 for Windows (English only), which contains support for screen readers, is available. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at

pdf version (353 KB)


The Donna Canal is a popular fishing spot

Water is pumped from the Rio Grande

PCBs in the Donna Canal

What are PCBs?

How does eating PCB-contaminated fish affect humans?

Sampling of Suspended Sediment

Sampling Results and Conclusion

Round 1: February 1999

Round 2: July 1999

Round 3: January 2000

Round 4: July 2000

Round 5: April 2001

What is the future of the Donna Canal?



Location of the Donna Canal study area.
Aerial photographs of the Donna Canal (indicated by the dashed blue line), sampling sites, and concentrations detected. Flow is to the north from the pumphouse toward the reservoir. To the right are enlarged images of two areas of the canal chosen for more closely spaced sampling. Sampling sites are indicated with yellow dots, and results of samples collected during the same sampling trip are shown in the same color: white (February 1999), yellow (July 1999), pink (January 2000), blue (July 2000), and green (April 2001). All concentrations are in micrograms per kilogram of sediment collected.

FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button