Water quality in the lower Puyallup River valley and adjacent uplands, Pierce County, Washington

Water-Resources Investigations Report 86-4154
By: , and 



The quality of most ground and surface water within and adjacent to the lower Puyallup River valley is suitable for most typical uses; however, some degradation of shallow groundwater quality has occurred. High concentrations of iron and manganese were found in groundwater, sampled at depths of < 40 ft, from wells tapping alluvial aquifers and in a few wells tapping deeper aquifers. Volatile and acid- and base/neutral-extractable organic compounds were not detected in either shallow or deep groundwater samples. The quality of shallow groundwater was generally poorer than that of deep water. Deep ground water (wells set below 100 ft) appears suitable as a supplementary water supply for fish-hatchery needs. Some degradation of water quality, was observed downstream from river mile 1.7 where a municipal wastewater-treatment plant discharges into the river. In the Puyallup River, the highest concentrations of most trace elements were found in bed sediments collected downstream from river mile 1.7. Median concentrations of arsenic, lead, and zinc were higher in bed sediments from small streams compared with those from the Puyallup River, possibly because the small stream drainages, which are almost entirely within developed areas, receive more urban runoff as a percentage of total flow. Total-recoverable trace-element concentrations exceeded water-quality criteria for acute toxicity in the Puyallup River and in some of the small streams. In most cases, high concentrations of total-recoverable trace elements occurred when suspended-sediment concentrations were high. Temperatures in all streams except Wapato Creek and Fife Dutch were within limits (18 C) for Washington State class A water. Minimum dissolved oxygen concentrations were relatively low at 5.6 and 2.0 mg/L, respectively, for Wapato Creek and Fife Dutch. The poorest surface-water quality, which can be characterized as generally unsuitable for fish, was in Fife Dutch, a manmade channel and therefore uncharacteristic of other small streams. (Author 's abstract)
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water quality in the lower Puyallup River valley and adjacent uplands, Pierce County, Washington
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 86-4154
DOI 10.3133/wri864154
Edition -
Year Published 1987
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey,
Description ix, 199 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.
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