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POSTER: Changes in Nitrate-N Concentration in the Sumas-Blaine Aquifer between 1997 and 2018

Publication number Date Published
19-03-006April 2019
VIEW NOW: POSTER: Changes in Nitrate-N Concentration in the Sumas-Blaine Aquifer between 1997 and 2018 (Number of pages: 1) (Publication Size: 4602KB)

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Author(s) Daiber, Eric; Freeman, Eugene; Marti, Pam
Description The Sumas-Blaine aquifer (SBA) straddles the international border with Canada in northwestern Whatcom County, covering approximately 150 square miles. The SBA is vulnerable to contamination due to its high permeability, shallow depth to groundwater, and heavy seasonal rainfall. Large portions of the aquifer have often exceeded the nitrate-N standard of 10 mg/L. Erickson (1998) sampled 248 wells for nitrate-N with a 21% exceedance. In 2018, Ecology sampled 178 wells for nitrate-N with an exceedance of 17%. Of the 178 wells, 106 wells were common between the two studies. The 106 wells showed a 4% decline in the number of wells exceeding the nitrate-N standard in 2018. However, although large declines were observed in a few wells, several wells continued to exceed the nitrate-N standard. North of the Nooksack River was identified as the region with the largest number of exceedances in both studies. Future work involves the construction of wells for the development of a dedicated monitoring network, first along the border with Canada, then across the aquifer.
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Keywords Sumas-Blaine, groundwater monitoring, Sumas, Whatcom County, drinking water, nitrogen, nitrate, groundwater, domestic wells
WEB PAGE Sumas-Blaine surficial aquifer long-term ambient groundwater monitoring
WATERSHED Water Resource Inventory Area 01 Nooksack