Wood River Valley Aquifer System - Water-Quality Assessment

Science Center Objects

A component of groundwater availability is whether the water quality is suitable for a particular use. Elected officials, water managers, and the general public have raised concerns about whether water quality has been affected in developed and agricultural areas by wastewater disposal, fertilizer application, and animal waste.

In cooperation with local agencies and organizations, we conducted a water-quality assessment of the Wood River Valley based on samples collected at 45 groundwater sites and 5 surface-water sites in July and August 2012 with emphasis placed on nutrient concentrations across the Wood River Valley aquifer system. Sampling sites were selected to represent water-quality conditions throughout the valley.

Samples were analyzed for:

  • Major ions: calcium, fluoride, iron, etc.
  • Nutrients: ammonia, nitrite, orthophosphate, etc.
  • Physical parameters: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, etc.
  • Bacteria: total coliform and E.coli

Lab results showed that most samples did not exceed EPA drinking water standards. Concentrations of nitrate and nitrite in all of the water samples were well below the EPA drinking water standard.