Submitted to: Laboratory Publication
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2003
Publication Date: 8/5/2003
Citation: LIZOTTE JR, R.E., MOORE, M.T., COOPER, C.M., HILL JR, J.T., HOLLAND, M.M., KNIGHT, S.S. WATER QUALITY OF NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI HILL LAND STREAMS IN THE DEMONSTRATION EROSION CONTROL (DEC) PROJECT: CALENDAR YEAR 2001. LABORATORY PUBLICATION. 2003. Number 35. pp. 85. Interpretive Summary: Water quality was monitored once every month or every two weeks in eleven rivers and streams in north Mississippi during 2001. This research is part of the demonstration erosion control (DEC) project aimed at controlling flooding, decreasing soil erosion and improving the environment in rivers and streams in north Mississippi. Changes in water quality coincided with seasonal changes, changes in water levels, storms, and fertilizer applications. Most river and stream water quality consistently passed USEPA and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality water quality guidelines during 2001. These results will help farmers, scientists, and pollution control personnel in better understanding water quality conditions in rivers and streams in north Mississippi.
Technical Abstract: The Demonstration Erosion Control (DEC) project in the Yazoo Basin is a cooperative interagency project, including the Corps of Engineers, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Agricultural Research Service, aimed at flood control and reducing erosion and channel instability. Additional goals of DEC include demonstration of innovative management techniques, total watershed planning, water quality, improved ecosystem health and environmental enhancement. Currently, consistent characterization of water quality is performed in seven hill land stream watersheds as part of a larger database including habitat, animal and plant diversity to assess ecosystem health. Results are used to provide a constant evaluation of DEC water quality conditions and long-term changes. This information is also useful in determining total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) within the Yazoo Basin. Samples from each watershed were routinely collected every two weeks or monthly during calendar year 2001. Physical, chemical and biological water parameters measured were pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, salinity, turbidity, alkalinity, hardness, depth to water, depth of water, total, suspended and dissolved solids, filtered orthophosphate, total orthophosphate, ammonia, nitrate, total nitrogen, chlorophyll a, fecal coliforms and enterococci. Fluctuations in temperature, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity were associated with seasonal changes and low-flow drought conditions. Changes in pH were associated with storm events and fluctuations in chlorophyll a concentrations. Solids, specifically suspended solids concentrations exhibited fluctuations often occurring with significant storm events (1" or more of rainfall). Fluctuations in nutrient concentrations were associated with application processes and ensuing nutrient runoff after rainfall events. Observed changes in microbial counts were due primarily to warmer temperatures occurring seasonally as well as storm events. Most water quality parameters were consistently within acceptable limits of USEPA and MDEQ TMDL water quality criteria guidelines during calendar year 2001. Non-compliant values occurring frequently (>10%) were observed for turbidity, total orthophosphate, total nitrogen, and chlorophyll a, based upon proposed USEPA criteria guidelines, and summer fecal coliforms (between May and October), based upon current MDEQ criteria guidelines, in all seven watersheds studied in the Yazoo basin.