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Old 03-31-2007   #1
BFE, Botswana
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 6
Dolores river water filterability

does any one know how the salinity of the dolores river might impact my ability to use for consumption? I plan to use chems & my buddy plans to filter. I read where there is a de-salination operation in paradox valley & that sorta sent up a red flag to me. Any input would be apprec.

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Old 03-31-2007   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
From the USGS Flows pages you can get water quality data by selecting the this parameter from the dropdown list.,00060

under the "Available data for this site" dropdown menu, select lab samples, then specify a date range. For recent data, just pick the last year or so, then you'll get recent samples. Look for Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). The drinking water standard for TDS is 500 mg/Liter. You can drink water with higher concentrations but it will taste lousy (as will anything with more than a few hundred mg/L). If they don't list TDS, multiply specific conductance in microsiemens by 2/3 and its a rough proxy for the water's TDS in mg/L.

One thing to bear in mind is that the Dolores flows across the Paradox Valley which is underlain by the Paradox Salt Formation. I expect salt leaches from the underlying formation and contributes to the salinity of the river. That's probably what the desalination project is related to.

Good luck floating!

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 04-02-2007   #3
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
I don't know about the runs around paradox valley, but the water let out below McPhee was fine to filter.
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