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Assessment of existing groundwater quality data in the Green-Duwamish watershed, Washington

January 1, 2019

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) provided technical support to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) in their assessment of the role groundwater plays in contributing pollutant loading to the Green-Duwamish River near Seattle, Washington. Ecology is developing watershed hydrology models of the Green-Duwamish watershed, and need to assign realistic contaminant concentrations to the various Hydrologic Response Units represented in their models. The USGS compiled existing groundwater quality data in the Green-Duwamish watershed, and this report summarizes results and interpretation of the dataset, including identifying data gaps and needs for further research and monitoring. The sources of existing data were the USGS’s National Water Information System, Ecology’s Environmental Information Management System, and a compilation of several studies by Leidos, a scientific research company. The water-quality parameters of interest included polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) Aroclors and congeners, phthalates, carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs), arsenic, copper, and zinc. Results were grouped into the four subwatersheds delineated in Ecology’s hydrology models: Duwamish, Lower Green, Soos, and Upper Green. Results from the Duwamish subwatershed were further sub-divided by the USGS into the Lower Duwamish, containing land adjacent to the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site, and the Upper Duwamish, containing the remaining area of the Duwamish subwatershed. Groundwater quality data in the Lower Duwamish were treated separately because there is known contamination in this area. The availability of water quality data varied by subwatershed as follows: phthalate data was only available within the Duwamish, PCB data was available within the Duwamish and Lower Green, cPAH data was available within the Duwamish, Lower Green, and Soos, and data for arsenic, copper, and zinc were available within all four subwatersheds. More than 99 percent of the available data was within the Duwamish subwatershed, identifying a need for additional monitoring of groundwater quality in the other subwatersheds.

Publication Year 2019
Title Assessment of existing groundwater quality data in the Green-Duwamish watershed, Washington
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191131
Authors Craig A. Senter, Kathleen E. Conn, Robert W. Black, Wendy B. Welch, Elisabeth T. Fasser
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2019-1131
Index ID ofr20191131
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Washington Water Science Center