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Assessing the extent, movement, and concentration of groundwater arsenic contamination in the L`Anse Indian Reservation

Investigators
Kozich, Andrew
Institutions
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
Start date
2018
End date
2021
Objective
Our objective is to conduct a rigorous examination of arsenic concentration in drinking water from Baraga County wells to assess potential human health risks and offer the KBIC valuable tools for future planning. This objective contains the following specific goals:Engage in scientific discovery. We will increase our understanding of geological and hydrological characteristics of the area, particularly related to the presence, concentration, location, and movement of groundwater arsenic. The following hypotheses will be tested:H1:A relationship exists between groundwater arsenic concentration and the underlying geology in Baraga CountyH2:A relationship exists between groundwater arsenic concentration and aquifer depth in Baraga CountyH3:Human health may be at risk in Baraga County based on residential well location resulting in ground water arsenic levels in excess of the 10 ug/L ruleConduct community outreach. Residents will receive free testing of their well water, be advised of potential arsenic exposure, and be invited to attend multiple informational events related to our research. They will be advised of potential measures to reduce arsenic in their drinking water. The proposed work speaks to traditional Ojibwa values regarding the sacredness of the region's water and its intricate relationship with Ojibwa culture, which previous research found is highly valued in the community (Kozich, 2016).Provide valuable planning tools. Well test results and a 3-dimensional groundwater model produced by IWR will be shared with the KBIC Tribal Council and all relevant departments and stakeholders. The model will provide guidance for potential remediation of existing, contaminated wells and for future well planning. The sum of our research findings will help fill many data voids related to the community's potential health risks.Enhance research capacity: While the research capacities of all partnering institutions will be enhanced through collaboration, KBOCC will particularly benefit from the scientific expertise and technological resources provided by the partnering institutions.Provide important benefits to students: KBOCC research assistants will engage in scholarly research and community outreach, earn salaries and internship credits, participate in a summer research experience, and gain critical skills that will better-prepare them for employment or advancement to 4-year STEM programs.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
MICW-2018-04188
Accession number
1017513
Categories
Heavy Metals
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication