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  • Zinc, Copper, and Lead Concentrations in Quilceda and Allen Creeks

    Results of Cooperative Monitoring by Snohomish County and the

    Washington State Department of Ecology

    October 2001

    Publication No. 01-03-031 printed on recycled paper

  • This report is available on the Department of Ecology home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0103031.html For additional copies of this publication, please contact: Department of Ecology Publications Distributions Office

    Address: PO Box 47600, Olympia WA 98504-7600 E-mail: [email protected] Phone: (360) 407-7472

    Refer to Publication Number 01-03-031

    The Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity agency and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, disability, age, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disabled veteran's status, Vietnam era veteran's status, or sexual orientation. If you have special accommodation needs or require this document in alternative format, please contact Joan LeTourneau, Environmental Assessment Program, at (360)-407-6764 (voice). Ecology's telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) number at Ecology Headquarters is (360) 407-6006.

  • Zinc, Copper, and Lead Concentrations in Quilceda and Allen Creeks

    Results of Cooperative Monitoring by Snohomish County and the

    Washington State Department of Ecology by

    Art Johnson Washington State Department of Ecology, Environmental Assessment Program

    Kathy Thornburgh and Ellen Stewart Snohomish County Public Works Department, Surface Water Management

    October 2001

    Waterbody Numbers: WA-07-1012, WA-07-1015

    Publication No. 01-03-031 printed on recycled paper

  • This page is purposely blank for duplex printing

  • Page i

    Table of Contents

    Page

    List of Figures and Tables................................................................................................... ii

    Abstract .............................................................................................................................. iii

    Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................ iv

    Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 1

    Sampling Program............................................................................................................... 2

    Field Methods...................................................................................................................... 5

    Laboratory Methods ............................................................................................................ 7

    Quality of Metals Data ........................................................................................................ 9 Holding Time ................................................................................................................ 9 Method Blanks .............................................................................................................. 9 Matrix Spikes ................................................................................................................ 9 Laboratory Control Samples/Standard Reference Material ........................................ 10 Field Blanks................................................................................................................. 11 Field Replicates ........................................................................................................... 12

    Results and Discussion...................................................................................................... 15 Stream Flow and General Water Quality Conditions.................................................. 15 Metals Concentrations................................................................................................. 18 Comparison to Aquatic Life Standards ....................................................................... 22 Total Recoverable vs. Dissolved Metals ..................................................................... 23 Comparison to Other Local Streams ........................................................................... 23 Trends in Total Recoverable Metals ........................................................................... 27

    Conclusions and Recommendations.................................................................................. 29

    References ......................................................................................................................... 31

    Appendices

    A. Equations for Calculating Washington State Surface Water Aquatic Life Standards for Zinc, Copper, and Lead (WAC Chapter 173-201A, 11/18/97 update)

    B. Snohomish County Monitoring Data for Quilceda and Allen Creeks

  • Page ii

    List of Figures and Tables

    Page Figures

    1. Snohomish County Monitoring Stations on Quilceda and Allen Creeks...................... 3

    2. Comparison of Metals Concentrations in Quilceda and Allen Creeks........................ 21

    3. Dissolved Metals Concentrations / Chronic Water Quality Standard Ratios for Quilceda and Allen Creeks.......................................................................................... 24

    4. Relationships between Total Recoverable and Dissolved Metals in Quilceda and Allen Creeks.......................................................................................... 25

    5. Historical Data on Metals Concentrations in Lower Allen Creek .............................. 28 Tables 1. Sample Containers, Preservation, and Holding Time ................................................... 5

    2. Field Measurement Methods......................................................................................... 5

    3. Laboratory Methods ...................................................................................................... 7

    4. Method Blanks .............................................................................................................. 9

    5. Matrix Spike Recoveries ............................................................................................. 10

    6. Recoveries in Laboratory Control Samples ................................................................ 11

    7. Results on Standard Reference Material ..................................................................... 11

    8. Field Blanks................................................................................................................. 12

    9. Variability Between Replicates................................................................................... 13

    10. Flow Comparison ....................................................................................................... 15

    11. General Water Quality Parameters............................................................................. 16

    12. Metals and Hardness Results...................................................................................... 19

    13. Summary Statistics for Metals ................................................................................... 20

    14. Metals Concentration Ranges and Associated State Water Quality Standards.......... 22

    15. Summary of Recent Ecology Data on Dissolved Zinc, Copper, and Lead Concentrations in Western Washington Streams ....................................................... 26

  • Page iii

    Abstract Results are reported from a routine water quality monitoring program focused on zinc, copper, and lead concentrations in Quilceda and Allen creeks, two urban streams in Snohomish County, Washington. The data are examined for spatial and temporal trends, and compared to results from other western Washington creeks. The highest metals concentrations were found in Allen Creek. Although elevated levels of total recoverable metals were occasionally observed, the dissolved fraction remained within state water quality standards. An analysis of historical data showed a significant decrease in total recoverable zinc and lead concentrations has occurred in both creeks. Recommendations include analyzing dissolved metals as part of the county’s routine monitoring of lower Allen Creek and assessing the potential for sediment toxicity in these two drainages.

  • Page iv

    Acknowledgements

    This report benefited from review by Dale Norton and Ralph Svrjcek. It was formatted by Joan LeTourneau.

  • Page 1

    Introduction Snohomish County Surface Water Management began routine water quality monitoring of Quilceda and Allen creeks in 1992 as part of the County’s Ambient Water Quality Program. The County selected streams in already populated or in rapidly developing areas for long-term monitoring. The monitoring was designed to establish baseline water quality data and to test for spatial and temporal trends in water quality parameters. The first three years of monitoring were funded by a Centennial Clean Water Fund grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). The data showed a pattern of elevated zinc, copper, and lead concentrations (Thornburgh, 1996). As a result, Ecology cons

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