McKenzie River Source Water Study

Science Center Objects

Drinking water for the city of Eugene, Oregon, is drawn from the McKenzie River, a high-quality source that is nonetheless threatened by urban, agricultural, and forestry land uses upstream as well as by changes in water management in the watershed. In 2002, the USGS began monitoring dissolved pesticides in the McKenzie River and its tributaries.

The primary objective of this study is to study threats to drinking water quality and watershed health in the McKenzie River Basin in order to provide the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) with information necessary to manage and protect its drinking water sources. Objectives include:

  • Collect semiannual storm runoff pesticide data
  • Investigate sources of natural organic matter and disinfection by-product precursors
  • Sample for pesticides and organic wastewater compounds using passive samplers
  • Sample for pharmaceuticals and sewage/septics in well water in shallow aquifer systems
  • Provide model support and development to help EWEB address a variety of management alternatives for McKenzie River water quality
  • Investigate harmful algal blooms in the McKenzie River that become problematic for those relying on the river