Paper No. 24
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
PREPARING FOR MARCELLUS DRILLING: 3. WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT FOR BEAR CREEK AND WILD RICE LAKE, CRYSTAL LAKE CAMPS, LYCOMING/SULLIVAN COUNTY, PA
The last part of our assessment of water quality in the Bear Creek watershed for Crystal Lake Camps, carried out on the weekend of 2-3 October 2010, concentrated on the overall change of water chemistry from the water inflow at the head of the wetlands of Mud Lake to the outflow of Bear Creek from Wild Rice Lake. Our study design included nine sampling sites including the inflows and outflows at the Mud Lake wetland, Crystal Lake, and Wild Rice Lake, as well as two surface samples from Wild Rice Lake. In situ measurements included pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and conductivity. As with the other parts of the study, as soon as possible after sample collection, we measured turbidity on each sample, after which each sample was filtered through a glass fiber filter (effective pore size 0.7µm), followed by triplicate titrations to determine alkalinity and acidity. Triplicate samples of both filtered and unfiltered water from each site were acidified, chilled, and transported to the lab for later analysis of selected metals. An additional set of triplicate non-acidified, filtered samples from each site was collected, chilled, then frozen immediately upon returning from the field, and thawed just before analysis of selected anions. Trends of increasing pH (5.8 to 6.4), conductivity (19.6 to 23.3 µS/cm), alkalinity (3.6 to 8.27 mg/L as CaCO3) and calcium (1.2 to 3.8 ppm) were observed from the upstream to the downstream parts of the system, although even the downstream values are still fairly low, consistent with northern Pennsylvania waters with little to no limestone in the surrounding bedrock. Detectable anion concentrations showed no obvious trends, and metal concentrations analyzed to date were very low. We intend to perform additional metal analyses for barium and strontium. These data should provide a good baseline for evaluating potential impacts of Marcellus drilling.