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Data Series 347

Data Series 347

Water- and Air-Quality Monitoring of Sweetwater Reservoir Watershed, San Diego County, California—Phase One Results Continued, 2001–2003

Prepared in cooperation with the Sweetwater Authority

By Gregory O. Mendez, William T. Foreman, Andrew Morita, and Michael S. Majewski


In 1998, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Sweetwater Authority, began a study to monitor water, air, and sediment at the Sweetwater and Loveland Reservoirs in San Diego County, California. The study includes regular sampling of water and air at Sweetwater Reservoir for chemical constituents, including volatile organic compounds (VOC), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), pesticides, and major and trace elements.

The purpose of this study is to monitor changes in contaminant composition and concentration during the construction and operation of State Route 125. To accomplish this, the study was divided into two phases. Phase One sampling (water years 1998–2004) determined baseline conditions for the detection frequency and the concentrations of target compounds in air and water. Phase Two sampling (starting water year 2005) continues at selected monitoring sites during and after construction of State Route 125 to assess the chemical impact this roadway alignment may have on water quality in the reservoir. Water samples were collected for VOCs and pesticides at Loveland Reservoir during Phase One and will be collected during Phase Two for comparison purposes. Air samples collected to monitor changes in VOCs, PAHs, and pesticides were analyzed by adapting methods used to analyze water samples. Bed-sediment samples have been and will be collected three times during the study; at the beginning of Phase One, at the start of Phase Two, and near the end of the study.

In addition to the ongoing data collection, several special studies were initiated to assess the occurrence of specific chemicals of concern, such as trace metals, anthropogenic indicator compounds, and pharmaceuticals. This report describes the study design, and the sampling and analytical methods, and presents data from water and air samples collected during the fourth and fifth years of Phase One of the study (October 2001 to September 2003). Data collected during the first three years has been previously published.

Three types of quality-control samples were used in this study: blanks, spikes, and replicates. Blanks and spikes are used to estimate result bias, and replicates are used to estimate result variability. Additionally, surrogate compounds were added at the laboratory to samples of VOCs, PAHs, pesticides, anthropogenic indicator compounds, and pharmaceuticals to monitor sample-specific performance of the analytical method.


Study Design
Sampling and Analytical Methods
Sampling Strategy and Data
Quality Control
References Cited

This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Download the report (PDF, 2.75 MB)

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Send questions or comments about this report to the author, Greg Mendez, (619) 225-6176.

For more information about USGS activities in California, visit the USGS California Water Science Center home page.

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