Groundwater
Bannock County Groundwater

Video Presentation

Groundwater Video Presentations Hydrology and Vulnerability of the Lower Portneuf Valley Aquifer By Dr. Glenn Thackray, Idaho State University Geosciences Department Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Our Water Quality

Our Water Quality Based on EPA standards for safe drinking water from public water systems, the municipal water provided by Pocatello and Chubbuck is safe to drink, even though there is known contamination in the groundwater. By law, public water systems must ensure that the water they provide is safe...

Water Volume & Use

Water Volume & UseMunicipal wells located along the valley floor ranging from 65 to 450 feet deep extract water from the aquifer.  Pumps deliver the water to the ground surface and into the distribution systems for Pocatello and Chubbuck. Like a bank account balance…..if more water is withdrawn than is...

Aquifer Recharge

Aquifer Recharge Mountain snowpack in the Bannock Range south of Kinport Peak provides the largest component of recharge (replenishment by the absorption or refilling of water) to the aquifer, particularly from accumulations in the Upper Mink Creek, Gibson Jack, and Scout Mountain areas.  Snowfall in these mountains, up to 30...

Aquifer Vulnerability

Aquifer VulnerabilityOur aquifer is very vulnerable to contamination for several reasons based on geology and land use: urban, residential, industrial, and agricultural land uses with the potential to contaminate the water supply occur directly over the aquifer; water and contaminants from the ground surface can move quickly to the aquifer...

Aquifer Description

Bannock County Aquifer Description The Lower Portneuf Valley Aquifer functions as three aquifers.Our aquifer can be divided into three distinct parts based on geology. The Northern and Southern Aquifers are separated mid-valley by a ridge of bedrock that outcrops as Red Hill near the Idaho State University Campus. East of the Southern...

Geologic History

Geologic History of Our Aquifer Approximately 15,000 years ago, Lake Bonneville, the ancestor of the Great Salt Lake, suddenly discharged an immense volume of water to the north through Red Rock Pass near Downey, Idaho. These flood waters continued north through Marsh Valley, turned west near Inkom, passed through the...

Our Drinking Water Source

Our Drinking Water Source Our drinking water comes from the Lower Portneuf Valley Aquifer, groundwater which is located directly beneath the Cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck. None of our drinking water comes from the Portneuf or Snake Rivers. Mountain snowpack in the Bannock Range south of Kinport Peak provides the...

Our Aquifer

Our Aquifer The Lower Portneuf Valley Aquifer is the only source of drinking water for the Cities of Pocatello, Chubbuck, and north Bannock County. Because we live on top of the aquifer and because there is very little protective soil cover due to the geologic history of the valley, our water supply...

Voluntary Measures

Voluntary Measures To avoid excessive regulatory demands on the community, all residents, businesses, government bodies, and industry are encouraged to voluntarily adopt behaviors and actions that protect our groundwater resources.For Planning and Zoning Efforts to protect groundwater resources need to occur at all levels of government and can include: Monitor groundwater quality...

Water Quality & Health

Water Quality and HealthHow does water quality affect health?Poor water quality can limit the economic development of a community, devalue property, affect livelihoods, and, most importantly, harm health. Health effects can be short term (acute) or long-term (chronic).  Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than...

Advisory Committee

Technical Advisory Committee & FindingsA Commissioner-appointed Groundwater Technical Advisory Committee met for approximately 10 months during 2009-2010 to review existing groundwater protection regulations and the data collected over many years of scientific studies of the Lower Portneuf  Valley Aquifer. After evaluating this large body of information, the Committee recommended a...

Citizens Advisory Committee

Citizens Advisory Committee A Commissioner-appointed Citizen’s Advisory Committee met twice a month during fall 2010 to evaluate and revise the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee. These recommendations, presented to local officials in January 2011, will be presented to local planning boards and elected officials for adoption into ordinance, following...

Proposed Measures

Proposed Administrative Protection MeasuresIn January 2011, the Bannock County Citizen’s Advisory Committee and the Groundwater Technical Advisory Committee on Groundwater Protection recommended protection area boundaries and administrative measures to the county and cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck to prevent further degradation of groundwater in the Lower Portneuf Valley Aquifer. Click...

Storm Water

Storm WaterStorm water pollution, also a potential threat to our drinking water, occurs when pollutants are poured directly into storm drains and when water flowing over streets, parking lots and yards picks up contaminants such as motor oil, deicing chemicals, lawn care products, and other chemicals. Everything that flows into...

Nitrate Concerns

Nitrate ConcernsHigh levels of nitrates (above the legal limit) cause blue baby syndrome (an oxygen depletion problem seen in babies and the elderly). It may also cause gastrointestinal problems and cancers.  Pocatello has municipal wells that are frequently over half the legal limit. If these wells reach the legal limit,...

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous MaterialsOther contamination threats to our groundwater resource in Pocatello, Chubbuck, and North Bannock County are leaking underground storage tanks, industrial or commercial sites, spills and leaks, and illegal disposal of chemicals and hazardous waste. The Department of Environmental Quality and the Southeastern District Health Department keep track and sometimes...

Water Supply History

Water Supply History Throughout its early history, the City of Pocatello water system struggled many years with inadequate water quantity to fulfill the needs of the community. Prior to 1892, the Portneuf River was the source of drinking water for the city. Water delivered to homes and businesses was either...

Water Recharge & Availability

Water Recharge & AvailabilityVulnerability Aquifer vulnerability is rooted in geology. Aquifer Recharge Precipitation in the Portneuf Valley is rather low (10-12”/year). This does not allow for much recharge into the aquifer. Most of the water runs off of lawns and City streets into the storm drain system and into the...