Iowa DNR
ADBNet

Water Quality Assessments

Impaired Waters List

South Raccoon River IA 04-RAC-1181

mouth (S21, T78, R27W, Dallas Co.) to confluence with Middle Raccoon R. in S9, T78N, R29W near Redfield in Dallas Co

Assessment Cycle
2008
Release Status
Final
Result Period
2004 - 2006
Designations
Class A1 Class B(WW-1) Class HH
Assessment Type
Monitored
Integrated Report
Category 5a
Legacy ADBCode
IA 04-RAC-0170_0
Overall Use Support
Not supporting
Aquatic Life Use Support
Fully
Fish Consumption
Not assessed
Primary Contact Recreation
Not supporting
Documentation
Assessment Comments

Assessment is based on results of IDNR/UHL ambient monthly monitoring during the 2004-2006 assessment period at STORET ambient monitoring station 10250001 (formerly station 429340) located near Redfield approximately 1 mile downriver from the confluence of Middle Raccoon and South Raccoon rivers.

Basis for Assessment

[Note:  Prior to the current (2008) Section 305(b) cycle, this stream segment was designated only for Class B(WW) aquatic life uses, including fish consumption uses.   Due to changes in Iowa’s surface water classification that were approved by U.S.  EPA in February 2008 (see http://www.iowadnr.com/water/standards/files/06mar_swc.pdf) and results of an Use Attainability Analysis, this segment is also now designated for Class A1 (primary contact recreation) uses.   This segment remains designated for warmwater aquatic life use (now termed Class B(WW1) uses), and for fish consumption uses (now termed Class HH (human health/fish consumption uses).]

SUMMARY:  The Class A1 (primary contact recreation) uses are assessed (monitored) as "not supported" due to levels of indicator bacteria that violate state water quality criteria.   The Class B(WW1) aquatic life are assessed (monitored) as "fully supported” based on results of ambient chemical/physical water quality monitoring from 2004 through 2006.   Fish consumption uses remain "not assessed" due to the lack of fish contaminant monitoring in this river segment.   The source of data for this assessment is the results of IDNR/UHL ambient monthly monitoring during the 2004-2006 assessment period at STORET ambient monitoring station 10250001 (formerly station 429340) located near Redfield approximately 1 mile downriver from the confluence of Middle Raccoon and South Raccoon rivers.  

EXPLANATION:  The Class A1 uses are assessed (monitored) as "not supported" based on results of ambient monitoring for indicator bacteria (E.  coli).   Due to recent changes in Iowa’s Water Quality Standards, Iowa’s assessment methodology for indicator bacteria has changed.   Prior to 2003, the Iowa WQ Standards contained a high-flow exemption for the Class A criterion for indicator bacteria (fecal coliforms) designed to protect primary contact recreation uses:  the water quality criterion for fecal coliform bacteria (200 orgs/100 ml) did not apply "when the waters [were] materially affected by surface runoff."  Due to a change in the Standards in July 2003, E.  coli is now the indicator bacterium, and the high flow exemption was eliminated and replaced with language stating that the Class A criteria for E.  coli apply when Class A1, A2, or A3 uses “can reasonably be expected to occur.”  Because the IDNR Technical Advisory Committee on WQ Standards could not agree on what flow conditions would define periods when uses would not be reasonably expected to occur, all monitoring data generated for E.  coli during the assessment period, regardless of flow conditions during sample collection, will be considered for determining support of Class A uses for purposes of Section 305(b) assessments and Section 303(d) listings.  

The geometric mean level of indicator bacteria (E.  coli) in the 29 samples collected at the IDNR/UHL ambient monitoring station (266 orgs/100ml) exceeds the Iowa Class A1 water quality criterion of 126 orgs/100ml.   Fourteen of the 29 samples (48%) exceed Iowa’s single-sample maximum criterion of 235 orgs/100 ml.   According to U.S.  EPA guidelines for Section 305(b) reporting and according to IDNR’s assessment/listing methodology, if the geometric mean level of E.  coli is greater than the state criterion of 126 orgs/100 ml., the primary contact recreation uses should be assessed as "not supported" (see pgs 3-33 to 3-35of U.S.  EPA 1997b).  

The Class B(WW1) aquatic life uses are assessed (monitored) as "fully supported” based on results of IDNR/UHL ambient water quality monitoring from 2004 through 2006.   None of the approximately 40 samples collected during the 2004-2006 assessment period at the IDNR ambient monthly station violated Class B(WW1) water quality criteria for ammonia, pH, or dissolved oxygen; no violations occurred in the ten samples analyzed for toxic metals or in the seven samples analyzed for pesticides.  

Fish consumption uses remain "not assessed" due to the lack of recent fish contaminant monitoring in this stream segment.

Monitoring and Methods
Assessment Key Dates
12/7/2006 Fixed Monitoring End Date
1/7/2004 Fixed Monitoring Start Date
Methods
230 Fixed station physical/chemical (conventional plus toxic pollutants)
420 Water column surveys (e.g. fecal coliform)
Monitoring Levels
Biological 0
Habitat 0
Physical Chemistry 3
Toxic 3
Pathogen Indicators 3
Other Health Indicators 0
Other Aquatic Life Indicators 0
# of Bio Sites 0
BioIntegrity N/A
Causes and Sources of Impairment
Causes Use Support Cause Magnitude Sources Source Magnitude
Pathogens Primary Contact Recreation Moderate
  • Source Unknown
  • Moderate