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Lower White River pH Total Maximum Daily Load Water Quality Study Design (Quality Assurance Project Plan)

Publication number Date Published
12-03-104June 2012
VIEW NOW Lower White River pH Total Maximum Daily Load Water Quality Study Design (Quality Assurance Project Plan) (Number of pages: 85) (Publication Size: 2365KB)

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Author(s) Mathieu, N.
Description Located in Pierce and King Counties of southwest Washington State, the White River originates from several glaciers of Mount Rainier and flows 68 miles to its confluence with the Puyallup River near the cities of Puyallup and Auburn. The Lower White River generally refers to the 28-mile stretch of river from the mouth to below Mud Mountain Reservoir.

Several areas of the Lower White River are on Washington State′s list of polluted waters (303(d) list) for pH and require a cleanup plan, or total maximum daily load (TMDL). Past studies have documented exceedances of the upper pH criteria (8.5) and suggest these conditions are the result of nutrient inputs to the river, which can cause excessive algal growth on the river bottom. Increased algal growth can increase the river’s pH levels, indirectly, through increased algal uptake of carbon dioxide in the water.

To develop a TMDL for the river, the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) will conduct a series of water quality surveys between July and December of 2012. Ecology will use the data to develop and calibrate a numerical water quality model of the river to simulate continuous pH and other water quality parameters.

Ecology, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe will then use the model to determine the maximum level of nutrient inputs that will still allow the river to meet water quality criteria for pH.

This Quality Assurance Project Plan describes the methods, data quality procedures, study design, water quality modeling approach, and other details for the study.
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Contact Nuri Mathieu at 360-407-7359
Keywords water quality, Total Maximum Daily Load, pH
WATERSHED Water Resource Inventory Area 10 Puyallup-White
DATA Environmental Information Management (EIM) #GPEL0010


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