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Hydrologic, Water-Quality, Bed-Sediment, Soil-Chemistry, and Statistical Summaries of Data for the Cambridge, Massachusetts, Drinking-Water Source Area, Water Year 2004

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-1383

By Kirk P. Smith

In cooperation with the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Water Department


This report is available as a pdf


Abstract

Records of water quantity, water quality, and meteorological parameters were continuously collected from three reservoirs, two primary streams, and four subbasin tributaries in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, drinking-water supply system during water year 2004 (that is, October 2003 through September 2004). Samples of base-flow water, bed sediment, and local soils were collected in the subbasins of the Hobbs Brook Reservoir and Stony Brook Reservoir drainage areas and analyzed for selected elements and organic constituents. These data were collected to assist watershed administrators in managing the drinking-water supply and to identify sources of contaminants and potential trends in contaminant loading to the water supply.

The monthly average capacities for each reservoir were greater than 91 percent for the current water year. Recorded precipitation in the water-supply area was greater during the current year than during the previous two years. The annual mean specific conductance for Fresh Pond Reservoir was similar to the annual mean specific conductance for Stony Brook at Route 20, at Waltham (U.S. Geological Survey station 01104460), which is the principal tributary feeding the Stony Brook Reservoir.

Water samples were collected from four tributaries during base-flow conditions in August 2004. Concentrations of dissolved chloride and total recoverable manganese in water samples from three subbasins exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) secondary drinking-water standards of 250 and 0.05 mg/L, respectively. Concentrations of total recoverable iron in water samples exceeded the USEPA secondary drinking-water standard of 0.3 mg/L in two subbasins. Pyrene and fluoranthene were the only polyaromatic hydrocarbons detected in any subbasin; however, the concentrations were low and were not quantifiable. Eleven pesticides were found in the four drainage subbasins; however, no single pesticide was common to all of the drainage subbasins. Measurable concentrations of caffeine were found in three of the four drainage subbasins.

Concentrations of copper, chromium, and lead in samples of bed sediment collected from four tributaries had the greatest amount of variation, while concentrations of titanium, calcium, yttrium, lanthanum, and aluminum were among the elements with lowest amount of variation. Concentrations for most elements and organic compounds increased with a decrease in the particle size of the bed sediment. The average concentrations for most elements in samples of soil collected in four drainage subbasins were similar for each subbasin; however, the maximum concentration for each element differed from subbasin to subbasin.

Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Description of Monitoring Network

Continuous Data Collection and Computation

Surface-Water Data

Meteorological Data

Water-Quality Data

Collection of Samples

Water Samples

Bed-Sediment Samples

Soil Samples

Presentation of Data

Station Description

Surface-Water Data

Data Table of Daily Mean Values

Statistics of Monthly Mean Data

Summary Statistics

Reservoir Data

Meteorological and Water-Quality Data

Water, Bed-Sediment, and Soil Data

Data for the Cambridge Drinking-Water-Supply System

Surface water

Water Samples

Bed Sediment

Soil

References Cited

Glossary

Figures

1. Map showing the Cambridge, Massachusetts, drinking-water source-area monitoring network for water year 2004, Lexington, Waltham, and Weston, Massachusetts.

2—10. Graphs showing:

2. Monthly mean flows for water year 2004 for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104430, Cambridge Reservoir near Kendal Green, compared to the period-of-record maximum and minimum monthly mean flows and the median monthly flow for water years 1997 through 2003.

3. Monthly mean specific conductance for water year 2004 for U.S. Geological Survey station station number 01104430, Cambridge Reservoir near Kendal Green, compared to the period-of-record maximum and minimum monthly mean specific conductance, and the median monthly specific conductance for water years 1997 through 2003.

4. Monthly mean flows for water year 2004 for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104480, Stony Brook Reservoir at dam near Waltham, compared to the period-of-record maximum and minimum monthly mean flows and the median monthly flow for water years 2001 through 2003.

5. A, Daily total flows, and B, daily maximum and minimum specific conductance values for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104415, Cambridge Reservoir, unnamed tributary 2 near Lexington, for water year 2004.

6. A, Daily total flows, and B, daily maximum and minimum specific conductance values for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104433, Hobbs Brook, unnamed tributary 1, near Kendal Green, for water-year 2004.

7. A, Daily total flows, and B, daily maximum and minimum specific-conductance values for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104455, Stony Brook, unnamed tributary 1, near Waltham, for water year 2004.

8. A, Daily total flows, and B, daily maximum and minimum specific conductance values for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104475, Stony Brook Reservoir, unnamed tributary 1, near Weston, for water year 2004.

9. Monthly mean flows for water year 2004 for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104455, Stony Brook, unnamed tributary 1, near Waltham, compared to the period-of-record maximum and minimum monthly mean flows and the median monthly flow for water years 1998 through 2003.

10. Monthly mean specific conductance for water year 2004 for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104455, Stony Brook, unnamed tributary 1, near Waltham, compared to the period-of-record maximum and minimum monthly mean specific conductance, and the median monthly specific conductance for water years 1998 through 2003.

11, 12. Bar charts showing:

11. Concentrations of selected elements and total organic carbon in samples of bed sediment collected from four tributaries in the Hobbs Brook Reservoir and Stony Brook Reservoir drainage subbasins, Lexington, Waltham, and Weston.

12. Concentrations of selected organic compounds in samples of bed sediment collected from four tributaries in the Hobbs Brook Reservoir and Stony Brook Reservoir drainage subbasins, Lexington, Waltham, and Weston.

Tables

1. Names, locations, and drainage areas of U.S. Geological Survey monitoring stations within the drinking-water source area for Cambridge, Massachusetts, for water year 2004.

2. Physical properties measured at each monitoring station.

3. Rating classifications for error ranges in continuous water-quality records and meteorological records.

4. Discharge, water temperature, specific conductance, and physical properties and concentrations of selected analytes in samples of base-flow water, bed sediment, and soil for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104415, Cambridge Reservoir, unnamed tributary 2, near Lexington.

5. Discharge, reservoir altitude and capacity, precipitation, air temperature, water temperature, and specific conductance for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104430, Cambridge Reservoir near Kendal Green.

6. Discharge, water temperature, specific conductance, and physical properties and concentrations of selected analytes in samples of base-flow water, bed sediment, and soil for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104433, Hobbs Brook, unnamed tributary 1, near Kendal Green.

7. Discharge, water temperature, specific conductance, and physical properties and concentrations of selected analytes in samples of base-flow water, bed sediment, and soil for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104455, Stony Brook, unnamed tributary 1, near Waltham.

8. Discharge, water temperature, specific conductance, pH, and turbidity for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104460, Stony Brook at Route 20 at Waltham.

9. Discharge, water temperature, specific conductance, and physical properties and concentrations of selected analytes in samples of base-flow water, bed sediment, and soil for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104475, Stony Brook Reservoir, unnamed tributary 1, near Weston.

10. Discharge, reservoir altitude and capacity, precipitation, air temperature, reservoir pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and specific conductance for U.S. Geological Survey station number 01104480, Stony Brook Reservoir at dam near Waltham.

11. Records of reservoir altitude and capacity, precipitation, air temperature, and reservoir water temperature and specific conductance for U.S. Geological Survey station number 422302071083801, Fresh Pond gate house at Cambridge.

 


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Suggested Citation:

Smith, K.P., 2005, Hydrologic, water-quality, bed-sediment, soil-chemistry, and statistical summaries of data for the Cambridge, Massachusetts, drinking-water source area, water year 2004: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-1383, 110 p.

For more information about USGS activities in Massachusetts, visit the USGS Massachusetts-Rhode Island Water Science Center home page.


 

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