Pipe Spring National Monument Groundwater Monitoring

Science Center Objects

Potential changes in groundwater levels in Pipe Spring National Monument are monitored via three observation wells by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS).

Photograph of Pipe Spring National Monument observation well after a Spring 2020 snowfall

USGS observation well in Pipe Spring National Monument after a Spring 2020 snowfall (PIPS NPS Monitoring Well, 365236112442501).

Changes in groundwater levels at Pipe Spring National Monument are monitored via three ovservation wells by the USGS.  Pipe Spring National Monument is located in northern Arizona near the border of Utah within the Kaibab-Paiute Indian Reservation. The primary natural features of the monument are several low-discharge, groundwater-fed springs. NPS is concerned about declines in groundwater levels, and consequently declines in the springs (Truini and others, 2004). The aquifer that supplies these springs is also an important source of drinking water for the Pipe Spring National Monument facilities, the Kaibab Paiute Tribe, and the community of Moccasin (Macy and others, 2013). To monitor potential changes in groundwater levels, USGS installed groundwater-monitoring instrumentation at three observation wells in 2007, one within the monument boundaries and two nearby on the Kaibab-Paiute Indian Reservation. All three wells are continuously monitored at 15-minute intervals, and water-level data can be seen in real time on the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) web interface. The wells are also visited quarterly for maintenance and manual water-level measurements.

Previous Studies
The USGS has produced other scientific studies at Pipe Spring National Monument focused on groundwater. Truini (1998) characterized the groundwater system in the area.  Seismic-refraction and frequency-domain electromagnetic-induction methods were employed to better understand the relation between spring discharge and geologic structure (Truini and others, 2004). Most recently, Macy and others (2013) led a study to determine any presence, source, and concentration of lead in the drinking water supply at the monument.