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Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5201


Publications Warehouse SIR 2007-5201

Prepared in cooperation with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

Water Quality on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, Northeastern Kansas, June 1996 through August 2006

By Heather C. Ross Schmidt, Heidi E. Mehl, and Larry M. Pope

SIR 2007-5201 Contents | Citation | More information

Abstract

This report describes surface- and ground-water-quality data collected on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation in northeastern Kansas from November 2003 through August 2006 (hereinafter referred to as the "current study period"). Data from this study period are compared to results from June 1996 through August 2003, which are published in previous reports as part of a multiyear cooperative study with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Surface and ground water are valuable resources to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation as tribal members currently (2007) use area streams to fulfill subsistence hunting and fishing needs and because ground water potentially could support expanding commercial enterprise and development.

Surface-water-quality samples collected from November 2003 through August 2006 were analyzed for physical properties, dissolved solids, major ions, nutrients, trace elements, pesticides, fecal-indicator bacteria, suspended-sediment concentration, and total suspended solids. Ground-water samples were analyzed for physical properties, dissolved solids, major ions, nutrients, trace elements, pesticides, and fecal-indicator bacteria. Chemical oxygen demand and volatile organic compounds were analyzed in all three samples from one monitoring well located near a construction and demolition landfill on the reservation, and in one sample from another well in the Soldier Creek drainage basin.

Previous reports published as a part of this ongoing study identified total phosphorus, triazine herbicides, and fecal coliform bacteria as exceeding their respective water-quality criteria in surface water on the reservation. Previous ground-water assessments identified occasional sample concentrations of dissolved solids, sodium, sulfate, boron, iron, and manganese as exceeding their respective water-quality criteria.

Fifty-six percent of the 55 surface-water samples collected during the current study period and analyzed for total phosphorus exceeded the goal of 0.1 mg/L (milligram per liter) established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to limit cultural eutrophication in flowing water. Concentrations of dissolved solids frequently exceeded the USEPA Secondary Drinking-Water Regulation (SDWR) of 500 mg/L in samples from two sites. Concentrations of sodium exceeded the Drinking-Water Advisory of 20 mg/L set by USEPA in almost 50 percent of the surface-water samples. All four samples analyzed for atrazine concentrations showed some concentration of the pesticide, but none exceeded the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) established for drinking water by USEPA of 3.0 µg/L (micrograms per liter) as an annual average. A triazine herbicide screen was used on 55 surface-water samples, and triazine compounds were frequently detected. Triazine herbicides and their degradates are listed on the USEPA Contaminant Candidate List. In 41 percent of surface-water samples, densities of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria exceeded the primary contact, single-sample maximum in public-access bodies of water (1,198 colonies per 100 milliliters of water for samples collected between April 1 and October 31) set by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Nitrite plus nitrate concentrations in all three water samples from 1 of 10 monitoring wells exceeded the MCL of 10 mg/L established by USEPA for drinking water. Arsenic concentrations in all three samples from one well exceeded the proposed MCL of 10 µg/L established by USEPA for drinking water. Boron also exceeded the drinking-water advisory in three samples from one well, and iron concentrations were higher than the SDWR in water from four wells. There was some detection of pesticides in ground-water samples from three of the wells, and one detection of the volatile organic compound diethyl ether in one well. Concentrations of dissolved solids exceeded the SDWR in 20 percent of ground-water samples collected during the current study period, and concentrations of sulfate and chloride exceeded their respective SDWR in 10 percent of the ground-water samples. Concentrations exceeded the Drinking-Water Advisory Level set by USEPA for sodium in 50 percent of the ground-water samples.

Results from the current study period remained similar to results from previous study periods. The median triazine herbicide concentration (triazine screen by ELISA) for the current study period decreased slightly compared to past study periods. In the event that ground water on the reservation is to be used as a drinking-water source, additional treatment may be necessary to remove excess dissolved solids, sulfate, sodium, and chloride.

Posted January 2008

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Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Principal Results from Previous Study Periods

Description of Study Area

Methods of Sample Collection and Analysis

Sample Collection

Surface Water

Ground Water

Sample Analysis

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Water Quality on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation

Physical Properties

Dissolved Solids

Major Ions

Nutrients

Trace Elements

Pesticides

Chemical Oxygen Demand and Volatile Organic Compounds

Bacteria

Sediment

Comparison of Water-Quality Results to Previous Study Periods

Summary and Conclusions

References Cited



Report Citation

Schmidt, H.C.R., Mehl, H.E., and Pope, L.M., 2007, Water quality on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, northeastern Kansas, June 1996 through August 2006: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5201, 75 p.

More Information

For more information about water quality studies on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, contact:

Mike Pope
U.S. Geological Survey
Kansas Water Science Center
4821 Quail Crest Place
Lawrence, KS 66049-3839
Telephone: (785) 832-3548
Fax: (785) 832-3500
Email: mpope@usgs.gov

For more information about USGS water resources studies in Kansas, visit the USGS Kansas Water Science Center home page: http://ks.water.usgs.gov

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