Great Basin Naturalist


Water column invertebrates were sampled with 3.8-L activity traps in 15 sewage, industrial, and radioactive wastewater ponds at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory in southeastern Idaho. One collection was made per pond, per month, during all months the ponds were ice-free from June 1990 through July 1991. Arsenic, barium, boron, lead, selenium, and mercury were detected in ponds. Sewage ponds generally had higher nitrogen and phosphorus levels than industrial and radioactive ponds. Of the 30 aquatic invertebrate taxa collected, the most ubiquitous were Rotifera, Daphnidea, Eucopepdoa, Ostracoda, Acari, Baetidae, Corixidae, Notonectidiae, Dytiscidae, and Chironomidae. Activity trap samples from sewage ponds contained more Rotifere, Daphnidae, and Notonectide, whereas industrial ponds yielded more Chydoridae, Acari, and Baetidae. Numbers of Oligochaeta, Eucopepoda, Ostracoda, Corixidae, Dytiscidae, and Chironomidae collected were not significantly different between sewage and industrial ponds. Compared with natural systems, these ponds had fewer taxa, but a greater number of individuals of most taxa. The high number of invertebrates collected is attributed to the lack of fish in wastewater ponds and the high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, particularly in sewage ponds.