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Existing Water Quality in the Indian/Howard’s Creek LWP Area and the Development of the Watershed Monitoring Plan. Stratford H. Kay, Ph.D. Environmental Senior Specialist Watershed Assessment Team NC Division of Water Quality, Raleigh,NC. Permits Impaired stream segment

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Existing Water Quality in the Indian/Howard’s Creek LWP Areaand theDevelopment of the Watershed Monitoring Plan

Stratford H. Kay, Ph.D.

Environmental Senior Specialist

Watershed Assessment Team

NC Division of Water Quality, Raleigh,NC


  • Permits

  • Impaired stream segment

  • Biological monitoring stations

  • Ambient monitoring stations

303 (d)


Existing water quality data
Existing Water Quality Data

  • Laboratory Water Analyses: turbidity, residues, metals, nutrients, etc.

  • Biological Monitoring: benthos and fish

  • Field Measurements: water temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity, pH

  • Habitat Assessments: habitat quality of the stream channel and riparian zone conditions

  • Flow Data: USGS gage on Indian Creek


Existing water quality data highlights
Existing Water Quality Data Highlights

  • Very little data for entire LWP area

  • No clearly definable water quality issues in Indian Creek

  • Occasional elevated nutrients and fecal coliforms

  • Pollutant sources not clearly defined

    • Two WWTPs, cattle operations and livestock access to streams, the Lincoln County landfill, sewage sludge land application site, agriculture, and stormwater runoff possible pollutant sources

  • Source(s) and specific cause(s) of biological impairment in Indian Creek unknown and need to be determined


Watershed monitoring plan development
Watershed Monitoring Plan Development

  • Preliminary Site Selection and Reconnaissance (completed in April 2008)

    • Become familiar with watershed

    • Find potential monitoring sites

  • Reconnaissance Monitoring (in progress)

    • Locate potential problem areas

    • Determine which areas need more detailed examination and which may be dropped

  • Refinement of Monitoring Plan

    • Reduce monitoring costs to a reasonable level

    • Focus future monitoring on issues that have emerged


Preliminary site selection and reconnaissance
Preliminary Site Selection and Reconnaissance

  • Visual evaluation of potential monitoring sites

    • Accessibility

    • Surrounding land uses

    • Possible pollutant sources

    • Suitability for benthos assessments

  • Field measurements at potential monitoring sites

    • Water temperature

    • Dissolved oxygen

    • Specific conductance

    • pH

  • Water samples at limited number of sites

    • Chemistry (primarily nutrients and metals)

    • Fecal coliforms


Reconnaissance monitoring
Reconnaissance Monitoring

  • Water sampling at 18 locations across LWP

    • Two months maximum

    • Chemistry, fecal coliforms, turbidity, residues

    • Named streams and major unnamed tributaries

  • Habitat assessments conducted once at all water sampling locations

  • Field measurements taken on each date at all 18 water sampling locations

  • Benthos at selected sites throughout watershed

    • Selected from the 18 water sampling sites

  • Determination of appropriate reference stream for the LWP


Reconnaissance monitoring results as of 17 june 2008
Reconnaissance Monitoring Results (as of 17 June 2008)

  • Water samples collected from 10 sites

    • Nutrients and fecal coliforms at many sites

    • Low pH problem in Mill Creek

      • High sulfate concentrations, source uncertain

    • No apparently suitable reference stream in LWP area

      • Leepers Creek most likely reference area

  • Preliminary benthos collections at 6 sites

    • Insects small, suggesting late recovery from drought of winter 2007-2008

    • Poor benthos habitat at all sites

  • Extreme drought across western NC

    • Includes entire Indian/Howard’s Creek LWP area

    • May impact water sampling and biological assessments


Drought Conditions in NC10 June 2008(data from NC Drought Management Advisory Council http://www.ncdrought.org/)



Refinement of monitoring plan
Refinement of Monitoring Plan

  • Reduce monitoring costs to a reasonable level

    • Personnel time

    • Travel costs

    • Analytical costs

  • Redirect monitoring to address specific issues

    • Determine cause(s) of biological impairment of lower section of Indian Cr.

    • Determine sources of pollutants throughout LWP area

    • Identify sites for preservation, enhancement, and/or restoration


WAT Contacts

Raleigh

Steve Kroeger: (919) 733-9726, [email protected]

Stratford Kay: (919) 733-9716, [email protected]

Susan Gale: (919) 715-3477, [email protected]

Larry Eaton: (919) 715-3471, [email protected]

Winston-Salem

Tom Yocum: (336) 771-4953, [email protected]

Dave Wanucha: (336) 771-4951, [email protected]

Asheville

Cathy Tyndall: (828) 296-4655, [email protected]


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