Quality of Surface Waters of the United States 1959
The quality-of-water investigations of the United States Geo- logical Survey are concerned with chemical and physical characteristics of the surface and ground water supplies of the Nation. Most of the investigations carried on in cooperation with State and other Federal agencies deal with the amounts of matter in solution and in suspension in streams. The records of chemical analysis, suspended sediment, and temperature for surface waters given in this volume serve as a basis for determining the suitability of the waters examined for industrial, agricultural, and domestic uses insofar as such use is affected by the dissolved or suspended mineral matter in the waters. The discharge of a stream and, to a lesser extent, the chemical quality are related to variations in rainfall and other forms of precipitation. In general, lower concentrations of dissolved solids may be expected during the periods of high flow than during periods of low flow. The concentration in some streams may change materially with relatively small variations in flow, where- as for other streams the quality may remain relatively uniform throughout large ranges in discharge. The quantities of suspended sediment carried by streams are also related to discharge, and during flood periods the sediment concentrations in many streams vary over wide ranges. Publication of annual records of chemical analyses, suspended sediment, and water temperature was begun by the Geological Survey in 1941. The records prior to 1948 were published each year in a single volume for the entire country and in two volumes in 1948 and 1949. The records were published in four volumes from 1950 to 1958 and beginning in 1959 they were published in five volumes. The drainage basins covered in the five volumes are shown in Figure 1. The samples for which data are given in this volume were collected from October 1,1958, to September 30, 1959. The records are arranged by drainage basins according to Geological Survey practice in reporting records of streamflow: Stations on tributary streams are listed between stations on the main stem in the order in which those tributaries enter the main stem.