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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Santiam Canal: Water Quality through Urban and Rural Landscapes

Author
item Griffith, Stephen

Submitted to: Seed Production Research at Oregon State University
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: March 31, 2006
Publication Date: April 30, 2006
Citation: Griffith, S.M. 2006. Santiam Canal: Water Quality through Urban and Rural Landscapes. Seed Production Research at Oregon State University. EXT CrS 125 04/06 56-60

Interpretive Summary: The Santiam Canal passes through the city of Lebanon and through an agricultural landscape before passing through Albany where it joins the Willamette River. Water collected in Albany is used for drinking water for the town. Personnel at the water treatment plant suggested that increased chlorine requirements for water treatment were associated with agricultural fertilizers. This study quantified nitrogen in the canal at three sites including the exit from Lebanon, the end of the agricultural landscape, and the Albany water treatment plant. Water samples were collected during March and April coinciding with periods of fertilizer applications to grass seed production fields in the area. The greatest nitrogen levels were consistently found at the water treatment site which suggested that nutrients entered the canal from the primarily urban sources in Albany. Nitrate-N did not exceed 0.46 ppm, well within acceptable standards for drinking water.

Technical Abstract: The Santiam Canal serves as the source of drinking water for Albany, OR. The canal passes through the city of Lebanon and through an agricultural landscape before passing through Albany where it joins the Willamette River. Water treatment personnel detected periods when additional chlorine was required to treat the incoming water and suggested a possible correlation with the presence of agricultural fertilizers in the water.This study quantified nitrate-N, ammonium-N, total nitrogen and organic-N during March and April, 2005, the period when additional chlorine was required. Three sampling sites represented where the canal exited Lebanon, where the canal exited the agricultural landscape, and where it entered the water treatment plant in Albany. Highest nitrogen levels were consistently at the water treatment site which suggested that nutrients entered the canal from the primarily urban sources. Nitrate-N did not exceed 0.46 ppm, well within acceptable standards for drinking water.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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