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Hoh Reservation Water Resources

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WA210 - Water Resources of the Hoh Indian Reservation - Completed FY1985

Problem - The Hoh Indian Tribe is economically dependent on their fisheries resource. To aid in plans for development of salmon-rearing facilities, the tribe needs to obtain information on the quality of the Hoh River and its tributaries and the potential availability of ground water. In addition to the problem of obtaining adequate water for the fish-rearing facilities, the tribe is also concerned about an improved source of water for domestic use, and the suitability of parts of the reservation for disposal of sewage by means of septic tanks.

Objectives - The objectives of this study are to (1) evaluate availability of ground-water for domestic use and development of the fish hatchery; (2) assess the present chemical and bacteriological quality of the Hoh River and its tributaries during summertime low-flow; (3) document the present suspended-sediment load in the Hoh River at various discharges; (4) determine flow characteristics and chemical and bacteriological quality of Challat Creek (presently the sole source of domestic water on the reservation); and (5) evaluate the suitability of certain areas of the reservation for septic tanks.

Approach - Select 1 to 3 sites for test drilling to define the potential for development of a community water supply. From these sites run levels to determine if gravity flow can be used for ground-water collecting galleries at the fish hatchery. Conduct percolation tests to determine suitability of certain areas for septic tanks. Staff gages will be installed at an upstream and downstream site on Challat Creek. The stream will be rated from misc. measurements and bimonthly samples collected for turbidity, DO, pH, coliform, and percent gas saturation. Samples for common constituents and selected heavy metals will be collected. Sediment samples will be collected at 2 sites on the Hoh River. During low flow or steady-state conditions, water quality samples will be collected at selected sites on the Hoh River from the Olympia National Park to the mouth and at all tributaries.

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