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Effects of drain wells on the ground-water quality of the western Snake Plain Aquifer, Idaho

January 1, 1994

Approximately 3,100 drain wells injects irrigation waste water, urban runoff, septic-tank effluent, and industrial waste water into the Snake Plain aquifer in Minidoka, Gooding, Jerome, and Lincoln Counties, Idaho. About 29,000 acre-feet of irrigation waste water, 100 acre-feet of urban runoff, 400 acre-feet of septic-tank effluent, and 1,000 acre-feet of industrial waste water are injected annually. The quality of irrigation waste water is highly variable, depending upon its source, method and rate of application, amount of fertilizer added, and other factors. The quality of urban runoff water is generally much better than irrigation waste water. Septic-tank effluent is relatively high in nutrient concentrations. Chloride concentrations also are high, and bacterial concentrations are exceedingly high. The only industrial waste water sampled during this study had been used for cooling. No chemical changes were noted, but temperature was significantly increased. The data indicate that drain-well inflow does move appreciable distances through the aquifer and can be detected in downgradient wells. (Woodard-USGS)

Citation Information

Publication Year 1976
Title Effects of drain wells on the ground-water quality of the western Snake Plain Aquifer, Idaho
DOI 10.3133/ofr76673
Authors Joe A. Moreland, Harold R. Seitz, Albert Mario LaSala
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 76-673
Index ID ofr76673
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse