Water Quality:Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer

Water Quality:Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer

Project Description

We monitored the groundwater and surface water in a small agricultural region (~ 6 sq-miles) south of Judson Lake in Whatcom County, WA from July 2002 to June 2004 to establish temporal and spatial distributions of nitrate. The study area lies within the bounds of the Abbotsford-Sumas aquifer that spans regions in British Columbia and Whatcom County Washington. Groundwater flows south from British Columbia into Whatcom County in the aquifer. The study area was chosen because it has a history of persistent groundwater-nitrate contamination and two surface-water creeks that are on the approved Total Maximum Daily Limit (TMDL) list. Our primary objective was to compare nitrate and other related water quality species to local agronomic loading information provided by regional agricultural agencies. And, to estimate concentrations of nitrate transported south across the international border using data from Environment Canada’s monitoring wells north of the study area in British Columbia.

For more information about the study and the results, please see the final report (pdf) and the educational Power Point presentation below.

Online Reports

WWU Geology Theses