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Water and sediment leachate chemistry from the San Juan Generating Station, Waterflow, NM, January 2021

April 28, 2021

The San Juan Generating Station in Waterflow, NM, owned by the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is a coal-fired power plant that operates on coal mined on the same property. This plant is scheduled to shut down in 2022. In light of this impending closure, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is interested in purchasing the plant's raw-water reservoir for use in the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project (NGWSP). Concerns about contamination leaking from the reservoir or being mobilized by groundwater flow affected by the leaking reservoir have resulted in Reclamation eliciting a short study of the water and sediment chemistry surrounding the reservoir and the recovery system set up by PNM. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) New Mexico Water Science Center collected water and sediment samples in the area in January 2021. Water and sediment samples were sent the University of New Mexico to be analyzed in the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (UNM-ACL) in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department.