USGS Washington Water Science Center
|Project Home | Publications and Products | Project Summaries | Partnerships ||
Salmon and other aquatic life in the Puget Sound Basin need a healthy habitat to survive and to recover from historical declines, both in urban and agricultural settings. Yet, USGS studies in 1997 and 1998 found that more pesticides were found in urban streams than in agricultural streams, and that 9 out of 10 samples from urban streams had concentrations of insecticides exceeding levels deemed harmful to aquatic life.
Little is known about the toxicity of urban stream water in the Puget Sound Basin. To answer questions about the extent, and possibly the cause, of toxicity of urban streams in King County, the USGS is testing selected urban streams in King County for toxicity and analyzing for pesticides and metals. Samples collected during storm runoff as well as during summer base flows will help assess how toxicity may vary by season. This is part of a larger role the USGS will play in helping to address salmon issues throughout the region.