Central Plains Center for Bioassessment

Assessment of Selenium Levels in the Solomon River in Southwestern Kansas (Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Kansas Department of Health and Environment water quality monitoring sites within the Solomon River Basin.
Date January 2007 - January 2009
Contact Debbie Baker
Location Solomon River

Summary

The Solomon River drains approximately 6,840 square miles of mainly agricultural land in north-central Kansas. Designated use for the Solomon River include: aquatic life support, primary contact recreation, domestic water supply, food procurement, ground water recharge, industrial water supply, irrigation, and livestock watering (KDHE 2004). North Fork Solomon River and South Fork Solomon River are two major tributaries of the Solomon River. There are three reservoirs in the Solomon River Basin: Kirwin Reservoir on the North Fork Solomon River, Webster Reservoir on the South Fork Solomon River, and Waconda Lake on the Solomon River. The Solomon River Basin is impaired from selenium because its watershed is rich in Cretaceous marine shales that are naturally high in selenium.

The goal of this project is to supplement KDHE’s continuing sampling efforts with additional selenium data necessary to address TMDLs and fish-tissue selenium data for the EPA draft aquatic life chronic criterion for selenium. The objectives are:

1. Assess selenium levels in the stream flow, bed sediment, and fish tissue at multiple stream sites in the Solomon River Basin above Waconda Lake;
2. Correlate selenium levels among the three media to determine the role of water-column selenium concentrations on impacting aquatic life; and
3. Characterize fish-tissue concentration within and among stream sites relative to the proposed EPA draft aquatic life chronic criterion for selenium.

Data

Data are available in the final report below.

Analysis, Results, or Reports

Koontz, J., D.G. Huggins, and N.C. Lim. 2009. Solomon River Basin Selenium Assessment Project, Final Report. Open-file Report No. 155. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS. 31 pp.

Maps, Images, or Photos

Kansas Department of Health and Environment water quality monitoring sites within the
Solomon River Basin. (click map for larger view)

Staff

Debbie Baker

Donald Huggins