Idaho Water Science Center

Water Quality

Filter Total Items: 21
Date published: November 20, 2017
Status: Active

Water Quality in Aquifers Used for Drinking-Water Supplies, Gem County

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Gem County and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, is assessing the quality of groundwater from freshwater aquifers used for drinking-water supplies.

Contacts: Erin M Murray
Date published: November 2, 2017
Status: Active

Water Monitoring - Idaho National Laboratory

We monitor groundwater and surface-water quality as well as streamflow and reservoir levels at nine surface-water sites.

Water samples are collected...

Date published: September 21, 2017
Status: Active

Water Archive Library - Idaho National Laboratory

Since 1966, we have archived over 6000 samples of about 500 mL each of "raw" (unfiltered and unpreserved) water from groundwater and surface-water quality sites collected during our monitoring activities. Through the years, we've kept the water samples in a secure room and tracked which samples researchers have requested and analyzed for various projects.

Contact us for more information...

Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Completed

Geophyical Logging and Water-Quality Assessment for Project Hot Spot

Relatively little is known about the Yellowstone-Snake River "hotspot" system. To increase our knowledge, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program provided over $4.5 million of this $6.7 million project using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

Contacts: Brian V Twining
Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Completed

Hydrologic Investigations near the Remote Handled Low-Level Waste Facility

The U.S. Department of Energy has proposed a location for a new facility to store waste at the INL. In the unlikely event that waste leaks from the facility, it will be important to monitor whether the contamination reaches the aquifer and baseline information is need before the facility is built.

Because we need to know how water and contaminants may travel through the aquifer, we need...

Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Completed

Naval Reactors Facility Groundwater-Quality Monitoring

As part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, it is important to evaluate the effect of Naval Reactors Facility (NRF) activities on the water quality of the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer.

Contacts: Gordon Rattray
Date published: August 18, 2017
Status: Active

Monitoring Mercury in Fish Tissue, Boise and Snake Rivers and Brownlee Reservoir

To meet National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements, the City of Boise will be responsible for collecting fish tissue samples for mercury analysis upstream of and downstream of their wastewater treatment facilities discharging to the lower Boise and Snake Rivers.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that ultimately makes its way into aquatic...

Contacts: Dorene MacCoy
Date published: August 8, 2017
Status: Active

Wood River Valley Aquatic Biology and Habitat Assessment

Blaine County’s population nearly quadrupled from about 5,700 to 22,000 people between 1970 and 2010. Residents and resource managers of the Wood River Valley of south-central Idaho are concerned about the potential effects that population growth and the expected increased demand for water might have on the quantity and quality of the valley’s ground and surface waters. Increased water use has...

Contacts: Dorene MacCoy
Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Selenium in the Blackfoot River Watershed

The upper Blackfoot River receives runoff from 12 large phosphate mines. Shale waste rock that is a byproduct of mining is highly enriched in naturally occurring selenium. At optimal concentrations, selenium can be a positive nutrient and antioxidant in mammals and fish. At elevated concentrations, however, it can damage fish and animal immune systems. As early as 1996, livestock deaths...

Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Occurrence and Potential Risk of Microplastics in Lake Mead and the Delaware River

There is mounting evidence that microplastics present a significant threat to aquatic organisms. Microplastics – defined as plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter – come from many different sources, including synthetic textiles, industrial waste products, personal care products, and the breakdown of litter, car tires, and other objects. This study will assess the occurrence of...

Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Mercury Cycling in the Hells Canyon Complex

The Hells Canyon Complex is a hydroelectric project consisting of three dams located on the Snake River along the Oregon and Idaho border. Elevated concentrations of mercury and methylmercury in the water column, bottom sediments, and biota in this reach have resulted in two of the reservoirs, Brownlee and Hells Canyon, being listed as impaired for mercury by the state of Idaho, and the entire...

Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Trace Elements in Streams Near the Stibnite Mining Area

Mining of stibnite (antimony sulfide), tungsten, gold, silver, and mercury near the town of Stibnite in central Idaho has left a legacy of trace element contamination in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River (EFSFSR) and its tributaries. Concentrations of arsenic, antimony, and mercury frequently exceed human health criteria and may impact threatened or endangered salmonid...