Oregon Water Science Center Studies
Water Quality in the Lower Columbia River Basin (OR 163)
PROJECT CHIEF: Dwight Q. Tanner
LOCATION: Lower Columbia River Basin
PROJECT EXTENT: Multi County
TOTAL AREA IN SQUARE MILES: 140
As a result of increasing concern that urban, industrial, and agricultural
activities are having an adverse effect on water quality in the lower Columbia
River Basin, the Lower Columbia River Bi-State Water Quality (Bi-State) Program
was initiated in 1990 by the Oregon and Washington State Legislatures. As part
of the Bi-State Program, reconnaissance surveys of the lower river in 1991 and
1993 showed elevated levels of water-quality constituents including stream
temperature, dissolved oxygen, fecal-indicator bacteria, chlorophyll, and trace
elements in water-column samples throughout the 140-mile main-stem reach. The
spatial-temporal variability of these elevated levels currently are unknown,
because the surveys in 1991 and 1993 were conducted only during the summer
and early fall.
Objectives of this study are to determine, to the extent possible:
- The spatial and temporal distributions (annual, seasonal, and monthly) of
water-quality constituent concentrations
- Exceedances of water-quality standards or criteria for beneficial uses
- Instream constituent loads and contaminant sources; and
- Long-term trends in constituent concentrations.
From January through December, 1994, the USGS collected data from 10 fixed stations.
These samplings were coordinated with data-collection efforts in selected
tributaries by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) and the Washington
Department of Ecology. As a result, data-collection activities
required quality-control data for interagency comparisons.
The fixed-station data were used in concert with historical data and other
Bi-State data to address the study objectives. The approach is divided into the
following three tasks:
- Task 1--Collection of fixed-station data from four main-stem and six
tributary stations. These sites were:
- Columbia River at Warrendale, OR.
- Columbia River, rmi 102, downstream of Hayden Is., OR.
- Willamette River at Portland, OR.
- Multnomah Channel near mouth, at St. Helens, OR.
- Columbia River near Columbia City, OR.
- Kalama River above Spencer Creek, near Kalama, WA.
- Cowlitz River at Kelso, WA.
- Columbia River at Beaver Army Terminal near Quincy, OR.
- Sandy River near Troutdale, OR.
- Lewis River at Woodland, WA.
- Task 2--Collection of quality-control data for interagency comparisons with
data collected by personnel from the USGS, ODEQ, and Washington Dept. of Ecology.
- Task 3--Interpretive USGS report including an analysis of current and historical water-quality data collected in the Lower Columbia River Basin.
REPORTS AND DATA
WRIR 95-4294. Water Quality of the Lower Columbia River Basin: Analysis of Current and Historical Water-Quality Data through 1994, by Gregory J. Fuhrer, Dwight Q. Tanner, Jennifer L. Morace, Stuart McKenzie, and Kenneth A. Skach.[Abstract]
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Last modified: Tue Oct 13 16:16:59 1998