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Groundwater Assessment

Inland Empire Paper Company Nutrients and Common Ions Source Water Study

Inland Empire Paper Company is seeking a permit exemption for phosphorus in their non-contact cooling water production well discharge into the Spokane River. Past monitoring has shown that this portion of the Spokane River loses water to the underlying aquifer, suggesting that the river is the source of the phosphorus in the well discharge. In summer 2012, the Washington State Department of Ecology assessed water quality conditions and hydraulic connectivity between the Spokane River and the Inland Empire Paper non-contact cooling water production well. As part of this effort, Ecology will characterize surface water and groundwater interactions in the Spokane River along the Inland Empire Paper property.

Field work for the surface water/ groundwater interaction study began in June 2012 with the installation of five small-diameter instream wells (piezometers) and associated temperature-monitoring devices (thermistors). The piezometers were accessed monthly between June 2012 and October 2013 to measure water levels, to download thermistor data, and to collect groundwater samples. The field data collected during this study will be used to determine if an allowance for phosphorus from the non-contact cooling water is merited.

PARIS permit database facility summary: Inland Empire Paper Company

Environmental Information Management database Study ID: JROS0022

Facility/Site ID: 81484342


Quality Assurance Project Plan: Inland Empire Paper Company Nutrients and Common Ions Source Water Study describes the study design.

Inland Empire Paper Company Nutrients and Common Ions: Source Water Study is the final report.

For more information, contact:

Jim Ross, james.ross@ecy.wa.gov, (509) 329-3425