Is the LPRV Aquifer at Risk of Pollution from Urban Runoff?
The lower Portneuf Valley aquifer is at risk because of several factors:
1) Varied urban, residential, industrial, and agricultural land uses with the potential to contaminate the water supply occur directly over the aquifer.
2) Water and contaminants originating at the surface can move quickly to the water table because the aquifer has minimal natural protection (thin soil cover, shallow water table, highly permeable Bonneville gravels between the surface and water table). GO VISIT the hydrology section of the Digital Atlas of Idaho 2000 to learn more about the Bonneville Flood.
3) Numerous artificial sources of recharge associated with urban/residential land uses (drain wells, ditches, septic leach fields) accelerate the movement of contaminants to the water table.
4) The highly permeable aquifer spreads contaminants rapidly, making it difficult to clean up contamination once it has entered the aquifer.
In addition, the lower Portneuf Valley aquifer and its immediate tributary aquifers comprise the effective sole drinking water source for Pocatello, Chubbuck, and northern Bannock County.