U. S. Geological Survey - Water Resources - Michigan District

Water Resources of Michigan

Effects of Wastewater-Lagoon Discharge through Wetlands on Water Quality in Bonifas Creek, Gogebic County, Michigan

US Geological Survey Open File Report 00-100
Lansing, Michigan 2000

By: Stephen Scranton Aichele and J.M. Ellis

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The Lac Vieux Desert Band of the Superior Chippewa (LVD) recently constructed a wastewater-treatment facility that discharges effluent twice annually from settling lagoons to wooded wetland areas adjoining the channel of Bonifas Creek, a small stream that flows near the LVD community in Watersmeet, Michigan. This report describes the hydrology of the site and the results of analyses of water samples from Bonifas Creek and the settling lagoons. Water samples were collected from sites on the creek upstream and downstream of the effluent-receiving area, before and after discharge from the lagoons. The concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate increased from the upstream to the downstream site, but the concentrations of sodium, chloride, and sulfate decreased. These changes in water chemistry, however, were similar both before and after the release from the lagoons, and are consistent with known pattern of influxes of ground water into Bonifas Creek. Therefore, it appears that the discharge of wastewater into the area adjoining Bonifas Creek is unlikely to have any immediate effect on the quality of water in the creek.


Aichele, Stephen Scranton and Ellis, J.M., 2000, Effects of Wastewater-Lagoon Discharge through Wetlands on Water Quality in Bonifas Creek, Gogebic County, Michigan, Date Posted: May 19, 2003, US Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-100 [http://mi.water.usgs.gov/pubs/OF/OF00-100/index.php]

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