USGS Dye Trace Study on the Kansas River to Help Protect Water Supply

Scientists and partners in the US Geological Survey will inject a harmless bright red fluorescent dye into the Kansas River in Wamego, October 20-22, weather permitting.

The study is being carried out in cooperation with the City of Lawrence, City of Manhattan, City of Olathe, City of Topeka, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Water Office, Nature Conservancy and WaterOne to improve understanding of flow velocities and travel times. in the Kansas River.

The Kansas River supplies drinking water to several cities in northeastern Kansas and is used for recreational activities. This tracing study will provide a better understanding of the speed at which water flows from one place to another. Water resource managers use this information to effectively respond to potential critical events such as harmful algal blooms or contaminant spills that can make water unsafe for the public. This experience will take place between Wamego and Belvue, Kansas.

“Recent events with spills over water intakes in rivers have underscored the need for travel time data to monitor and respond appropriately,” said Tom Stiles, director of the ministry’s Bureau of Water. of Kansas Health and Environment. “With so many people relying on surface water supplies in Kansas, understanding how these rivers move is essential for good water management. “

The red colored dye will be measured with instruments in the stream and compared to laboratory analyzes. The study will consist of several experimental runs to optimize travel time data collection by injecting a non-toxic rhodamine water-tracing dye into the Kansas River under low, medium and high flow conditions.

The primary objective of performing a dye-tracer study on the Kansas River is to help estimate flow velocities and travel times, which can be used by the public as well as by suppliers of potable water to protect water resources and public water supplies.

USGS scientists release the Rhodamine WT dye at a specific time at the start of the dye experiment.

(Public domain.)

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