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Contaminant Guidelines

[Guidelines for the Interpretation of the Biological Effects of Selected Constituents in
Biota, Water, and Sediment
; National Irrigation Water Quality Program Information Report No. 3]



Overview

The guidelines, criteria, and other information in this volume were originally compiled for use by personnel conducting studies for the Department of the Interior's National Irrigation Water Quality Program (NIWQP). The purpose of these studies is to identify and address irrigation-induced water quality and contamination problems associated with any of the Department's water projects in the Western United States.

When NIWQP scientists submit samples of water, soil, sediment, eggs, or animal tissue for chemical analysis, they face a challenge in determining the significance of the analytical results. How much of a given chemical constituent is normal in the tested medium? How much is unusually high? What adverse effects may result from the reported concentration? Studies that address these questions are myriad: they are widely scattered in the literature, they use many different approaches and testing protocols, and they yield greatly varying and sometimes contradictory results. The chapters in this volume are intended to:

  1. Identify the most important, most relevant studies for several constituents of concern that are commonly encountered in environments affected by irrigation drainage.

  2. Present a sampling of notable results from these studies in tables organized according to tested medium.

  3. Explain further, in the accompanying text, the significance of these results.

  4. Give full and accurate references to the original studies, for those who desire more detailed information.

Available Files

The subject Guidelines for the Interpretation of the Biological Effects of Selected Constituents in Biota, Water, and Sediment; National Irrigation Water Quality Program Information Report No. 3; November 1998 is available in its entirety or individually by sections: