Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5201
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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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Purpose and Scope
Principal Results from Previous Study Periods
Description of Study Area
Methods of Sample Collection and Analysis
Quality Assurance and Quality Control
Water Quality on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation
Chemical Oxygen Demand and Volatile Organic Compounds
Comparison of Water-Quality Results to Previous Study Periods
Summary and Conclusions
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