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Section 2 - Rivers Unlimited

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Citizens’ Water Quality Monitoring Programis Run by Rivers Unlimited and FOGM and supportedfinancially or with facilities by the following


The Great Miami River lies in an overwiedenedvalley created by thepreglacial Taeys River flowing North, andunderlain by upto 300 feet of alluvialsand and gravel.


Going to the Next LevelGoals for Future• Level 2 Credible Data lab with OEPA• QUAP—Quality Assurance Program• QHEIs / QHEI training• GIS Study to relate QHEI, Landuse to waterchemistry and coliforms.• Watershed Action Plan for the lower GMR.• Watershed Coordinator from Ohio forimplementation of WAP.


Great Miami River Watershed = 4,124mi 2Discharge 2010 = min 461 cfs, avg. = 3441, max = 39100Subwatersheds:• Whitewater River-- 1,474 mi 2• Mad River -- 657 mi 2• Stillwater River -- 676 mi 2An estimated 2.8 million people lived inwatershed in 1995. Major cities areCincinnati and Dayton, Ohio.Approximately 69 percent of the totalland area is used for agricultural &pastural activities, primarily row-cropproduction of corn, soybeans, andalfalfa. Residential, commercial, andindustrial land uses comprise 16 percentof the area whereas the remaining areaconsists of forests (9 percent) and waterbodies or wetlands (1 percent)


• GMR aquifer provides drinking andindustrial to a dozen cities and townsalong its route from one of the buriedvalley aquifer, one of the most used incountry


USGS NAWQA found many pesticides &herbicides, and house hold chemicals inGMR


NAWQA found nutrientsdeclining but high.


N N NN N NN N NNATPPO 4DNA24hrs100 CO 2pH > 8O2 + OH - O 2 + OH -O 2Nutrientsallowalgalgrowthand highpH &OxygenWWTP E. Coli +Cryptospiridium +Giardia +E.coli O157:H7>126/100ml noswimming>2000/100mlno boating


Turbidity clearsRainfall sedimentsremove attachedalgae & limit light tosuspended algae.Silt Clay Clear AlgaeFlood runoffDowncuttingConstructionRow cropDischarge declinesNutrientEnrichment


Sample locations on mainstem and tribs of GMRIndian CkBanklick CkPaddys RunHowards Ck.Blue Rock CkDry Fork Ck.Taylor CkWhitewater R.Sand Run


Data are plotted on log scaleTP,NO-N, N:P ratio,pH,TurbLimits for stream data 201110000.01000.0100.010.01.00.1TP lessthan0.3mgP/lpH


Hamilton, Oh above lower lowheaddam showing Pershing,High, and Black St. Bridges RM35-37


City of Fairfield serves44,000 homes & industryproducing 5 mgd with UVdisinfection.Fairfield WWTP RM31.2


Treatment plants on GMRFernald Treatment Plant.• Maximum annual mass uranium dischargeto the Great Miami River should also notexceed 600 pounds per year. Both the 600pounds per year and 30 ppb performancebased discharge limits were establishedthrough the OU5 ROD process in 1 mgd• Taylor Ck WWTPis 5.5 mgd + 5package plants =.241 mgd


Mouth of Banklick CreekRM 28.4 in middleGCWW Boulton WellField


pH, TP m g/l, NO 3-N,N:P,NTU, uS,100000.010000.01000.0100.010.01.00.1Averages for Banklick Ck2010pHTPNO3-NN:P ratioCFU/100mlTurbitityConductivityBanklickCk hasvery lowTP, NO3but E.coli&coliforms> std.


RRMRM 27.7


pH, TP m g/l, NO 3-N,N:P,NTU, uS,CF1000.0Seasonal Averages for Paddys Run100.010.01.00.1pHTP2010NO3-N Turbitity CFU/100mlN:P ratio ConductivityIndian CkhasenrichedTP, butConductivity &E.coli,Coliformsnot asbad,lowerthan lastyear


Dunlap Run, S. of Heritage Pk


• Dunlap Runis a highgradientcreek withlittle newdevelopment along itspath. E.coliare save &TP is low,but NO3-Nis highest ofany tribs.


Mouth of Blue Rock CreekRM 21.7


pH, TP m g/l, NO 3-N,N:P,NTU10000.01000.0100.010.0Averages for Sheits & Blue Rock Cks1.00.1pHSheits Ck2010N:P ratio CFU/100mlTPNO3-NTurbitityConductiv itypHBlue Rock CkTPNO3-NTurbitityConductiv ityN:P ratio CFU/100mlBlue Rock Ck has new developments, but TP, NO3,E.coli okay


Mouth of Paddys Run into GMRacross from Dravo Park canoe rampRM 20.1 & below Fernald WaterTreatment Plant for Uranium andabove the PCS phosphate plant (235lbs/day or 106 kg P/day) largest singlesource in lower river.


Paddy’s Run meets standards for all parameters,looks best of all trips up river from it.


Taylor Creek Mouth above I74 Bridge RM 14.7


Taylor Creek has met E.coli andColiform standards; Nitrate is higher.


Wesselman Creek, Trib toImpervioussurface,open spaceand forestcover lowdensitylandscapeTaylor Ck.


TP,NO-N, N:P ratio,pH,Turb100000.010000.01000.0100.010.0Wesselman Creek 20111.00.1TPpHNO3-NN:P molarNTUCond uSCond, E. coli, Coliforms/100mllE.ColiTotal Coliforms


Mouth ofWhitewaterRiver intoGMR RM 6.1


Seasonal Averages-Whitewater RiverpH, TP mg/l, NO3-N,N:P10000.01000.0100.010.01.0Sites 2010NTU, uS, CFU/100ml0.1pHTPNO3-N Turbitity CFU/100mlN:P ratio Conductivity


Dry Fork CreekRM 6.3 GMR+ 2.9Whitewater


T P , N O - N , N : P r a t io ,p100000.010000.01000.0100.010.01.00.10.0TPDry Fork Creek 2011NO3-NN:P molarpHNTUCond uSC o n d , E . c o l i , C o l i f oE.ColiTotal Coliforms


Fox Run• Fox Run hasthe 2 nd mostforestedwatershed inthe lowerGMRwatershed.


Sand Run• Sand Runwatershed isthe mostforested of allthe tributariesin the lowerGRMwatershed.


• Howards Ckentering DryFork Creek RM10.8 fromWhitewater R


Mouth of the Great MiamiRiver, the largestundeveloped Estuary onthe Ohio River.


Sample days (9)Avg. = 1336 cfsMedian = 1120 cfs• Dischargein 2012was thelowest ofour 3 yearsofmonitoring.


.0Conductivity as ameasureof totalsalts,elevatedabove600 uS bySodiumandChlorideis highestup riverwhereeffluentdominate


• Effluentsalts arediluted byhigher riverdischargeby itsdilution.


Coliforms #/100 ml CFU300025002000150010005000Great Miami River CFU/100 mlMedian =100 cfu/100mlGeomean = 114/100mlAvg. 567 cfu/100ml 20100 5 10 15 20 25 30 35River MileE.Coli &TotalColiformsare muchlower( -83%) in2012 vs2011Median E.coli = 422 CFU/100mlMedian Coliforms = 8212 CFU/100ml2011


% E .c o li o f t o ta l c o1.000.800.600.400.200.00% E.coli, Great Miami mainstem 20111010119107465927469843711 56 89Avg.% E.coli = 19%-5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30River Mile11 593456711 894If % E.coliis ameasure ofhumanfecalcontamination theremay bemoredownriverassociatedmoresepticflows.


CFUs were inversely related toColiform s #/100 m l CFU300025002000150010005000discharge?Great Miami River CFU/100 ml0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000Discharge (cfs @ Hamilton)Why?1. Survivalis better inwarmwater atlowsummerflows.2. Sourceis septictanks atlowdischarge.


Turbitidy (NTUs100806040200Turbidity in GMR 20111011119105610 4972689471145368910 7-5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30River Mile1159101153689474• NTUsnormallyincreasewherefinesdominatedownriverand algaegrow.


• Turbidity mayberespondingto algalbiomassmore thansedimentresuspentionat high flow


pH units (-log [H+98.88.68.48.287.87.6Ph of Great Miami mainstem 20119101011119441056786942798104631157-5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30River Mile910115Avg. pH = 8.2896811 43574• Ph’s werehighaverage of8.24 overall sitesand dates.Mostproductivein midriver.pH has been driven up > 8.2 by extremephotosynthesis from nutrient loading


• pH ishighest atlow cfswherealgae cangrow bestin waterand onrocks.


Great Miami River TP 2010Total P (m g P/l)32.521.510.50-0.50 10 20 30 40River MileTarget forurbanstreamsTarget forOhiostreams


Total Phosphorus m1.00.80.60.40.20.0Total Phosphate mainstem 2011Avg. TP = 0.301 mg P/lMedian TP = 0.258 mg P/l-5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30River MileNormallyTP isdilutedwithincreasedflow, butincreaseswhensediment-P iseroded athigh flow.


TP conc. (mg P/liter)Great Miami River TP x cfs 201032.521.510.50Soluble PO4Particulat TP e0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000Discharge (cfs)


Great Miami River NO3-NNitrate-N ( m g N/l)141210864200 10 20 30 40River MileNitrate ishighest upriver fromagriculturalnonpointsource,likelypercolatedgroundwater inaquifer.


• Nitratemoveswith waterand NH4is nitrifiedat themarginsof theriverincreasingconc. Atlow to midcfs.


N it r a t e _ N ( m g N O6543210Great Miami, Nitrate 2011Avg. NO3-NMedian NO3-N= 2.48 mg N/l= 2.53 mg N/l-5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30River MileN:P ratio of12-14 isnormal ratioin algae.When lowerthan thatalgae are P-limited;whengreater,they are N-limited. In2011 theGMR was Nlimited mostof the time,becomingmore soupriver.


Is Ohio R. water affected bya major trib. in the GMR ?• No.Changeinnutrientsbutreductionin E. coliandincreaseofcoliforms


2011AverageMedianAvg load = 654 kg P/river-dayMedian load = 551 kg P/river-day3052862TP-load = concentration x dischargeTP loadduringlowflowyearwas36%lowerthan2011.kg Tp/riv er-daykg Tp/riv er-day


TP point source load OEPA 20121995-19992006-2010• Pointsourcereductionsof 19% inthe lastdecade.• Nonpointload likelyhas notdecreased.


Summary GMR1. pH is elevated to extremes by severe suspended algaldensities > avg. pH = 8.2, but median less than 2011.2. Total Phosphorus Is low, avg 0.218 mg P/l, less than 0.3mg/l targeted for urban rivers by OEPA, > target of 0.1mgP/l.3. Nitrate was lower 2.99 mg N/l in 2012, lower than 2011 (~4.0 mg N/l, max 13 mg N/l) from percolated groundwater.4. N:P molar ratio was higher 26:1, > Richardson ratio of14, with excess N. Algae likely P-limited.5. Conductivity = 726, higher than 673 uS in 2011, max 969uS , slightly elevated by from 600uS in limestone byeffluent chloride.6. Fecal coliforms = median of 50 cfu/100ml, avg. 175, max=2600.


Goodnews.OEPA 2010found fishIBI metWWH as 6of 8stations inlower GMR.Best eversince CWA1972.


Suspended algal chlorophyllincreases down river.Chlor a (ug/l)25020015010050Chlorophyll in GMR 25 Sept 201000 5 10 15 20 25 30GMR River MileActiv e Chlor atotal Chlor a


GMR mainstem in 2010 had algal chlorophyllof grossly polluted river by nutrients.Figure 10. Longitudinal profiles of key water quality indicators for thelower Great Miami River: a) sestonic chlorophyll, b) total organic carbon.The shaded region in each plot depicts the upper range of concentrationstypical for large rivers not grossly polluted. For sestonic chlorophyll, therange is defined by literature sources, especially Van Nieuwenhuyse andJones (1996), and Heiskary etal. (2010).


Summary of LongitudinalStudy• Chlorophyll at low flow in the lower riverexceeds that in most hypereutrophiclakes.• Concentration of nutrients declinestowards the Ohio River.• Concentration of total and activechlorophyll increase towards the OhioRiver as nutrients are assimilated.• Lower river is a recovery zone for up rivernutrient loading at WWTP below Daytonand PCS corporation at Paddys Run


TP has declined in WWR &GMR; NO3-N no change.Since 2005 TP has dropped above & belowCincinnati and in the Whitewater R.; Nitrate hasdeclined below Cincinnati.


Since most of theload is agricultural,the annual loadvaries with rainfalldischarge andchanges in farmingpractice and watertreatment plantefficiency. Thedecreasing nutrientflux in recent yearscomes fromimprovement inWWTP by CleanWater Act funding.


Sewage indicators show nopattern, but WWR lower effluent.Conductivity from effluent is lowest inWhitewater R. E.coli from untreated effluent aresimilar in recent years, likely affected bydischarge on sample dates.


pH in GMR has been increasing as primaryproduction increases. Is turbidity declinelower flow or lower algal biomass in summer?Avg pH8.48.287.87.67.47.27GMR/W hitewater R Avg Annual pH2005-2010Whitewater R GMR US502005 2007 20092006 2008 20102005 2007 20092006 2008 2010YearGMR Heritage2005 2007 20092006 2008 2010Avg Turbidity (NTUs)12010080604020GMR/Whitewater R Avg Turbidity2005-20100Whitewater R GMR US50 GMR Heritage2005 2007 20092006 2008 20102005 2007 20092006 2008 2010Year2005 2007 20092006 2008 2010


M in im u m A n n u a l D a ily D is c h a r g eMinimum Discharge at Hamilton has beenincreasing as WWTP volume increases.10008006004002000Minimum Daily Discharge each year, GMR1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010Year


Summary of inter-year comparison.• Estimated average TP load on sample dates is average 664 kgTp/river-day or median 551 kg Tp/river-day, down from 2011.• USGS Miami found 73,000 & 37,000 kg/ TP-river-day,respectively 1998-2000. Average TP appears to be droppingin recent years below Cincinnati.• pH is rising as photosynthesis has likely been increasing withdry summers.• Nitrate has not changed but is higher from ag. Areas upriver.• E. coli have decreased as has conductivity. Conductivity is >than expected in limestone, likely from Chloride in watersofteners used on well water.• Minimum discharge has increased over the past 70 years, likely asWWTP volume increased. Water quality has improved as CleanWater Acts have 4 decades of inforcement.


Hazards to River.• Long term problem in the lower GMR isthe eutrophication. Productivity is beingpulled into the water column, instead ofperiphyton on bottom rocks.• Water flows have been slowed by instreamgravel mining creating pools instead ofruns and riffles. The multiple mainstemdams up river insure planktonicdominance from Dayton south.

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