New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting — Abstracts

Magdalena Science Café Water Resources Science Project

Kassidy Brunson1, Jeremiah Alvarez1, Zeb Apachito1, Cade Brunson1, Tristin Alvarez1, Jim Sauer1, Bonnie Frey2, Nicole Hurtig3 and Laila Sturgis2

1Magdalena Teen Science Café, 202 Spruce St, Magdalena, NM, 87825,
2New Mexico Bureau of Geology, NMT, 801 Leroy Pl, Socorro, NM, 87801
3Dept. Earth and Environmental Science, NMT, 801 Leroy Pl, Socorro, NM, 87801

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The Teen Science Cafe began participating in the New Mexico Tech Water Resource Education Program in April 2022. Water samples were collected from two areas around Magdalena. Area One included three sample locations between the Magdalena and San Mateo mountains (Forest, Big Crow and New Wilson wells, pipe and stock tanks). Area Two included one sample from the Alamo Reservation (Apachito well) and two north of the reservation, but south of I-40 (House and Oro wells and stock tanks).

The pH, specific conductivity, hardness, and dissolved oxygen were measured in the field using a YSI-meter and the LaMotte AQ-2 Chemical Analysis Kit. Other samples were put in plastic bottles and analyzed later in the analytical laboratory at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. Major ions and minor trace metals, specific conductivity, and alkalinity were tested using a Agilent 5900, Agilent 7900 and Dionex ICS-5000, a Metrohm titrator and a conductivity meter. Hardness and total dissolved solids were calculated from the major ion measurements.

Water sources in Area One have good water quality with the exception of an elevated fluoride concentration at one of the sources (Big Crow). Hardness, total dissolved solids and conductivity are also below safe drinking cautions. Water sources in Area Two have high values in hardness, conductivity, and total dissolved solids. A high value in uranium (Apachito) has been measured. Sulfates are also a concern. The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a non-regulatory Health-Based Screening Level of 10 µg/L for lithium. All of our testing sites, with the exception of Oro, is above this limitation. When sampling a tank, we know that as water evaporates it leaves behind the chemicals suspended or dissolved in the water. This can increase values of water quality constituents such as hardness, fluoride, sulfates, chloride, etc. We don't have this problem when testing wells or pipes.


water quality, Magdalena, stock tanks

pp. 30

2023 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 21, 2023, Macey Center, Socorro, NM
Online ISSN: 2834-5800