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Kansas Water Science Center

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Contact Information:
Jennifer Graham
U.S. Geological Survey
4821 Quail Crest Place
Lawrence, Kansas 66049
(785)832-3511
jlgraham@usgs.gov
This project is conducted in cooperation with:
Johnson County Wastewater

Effects of Wastewater Discharge and Treatment Facility Upgrades on Environmental and Biological Conditions of Indian Creek, Johnson County, Kansas

Period of Project: May 2011 to September 2014

Study Overview

The purpose of the study is to assess the effects of wastewater discharge and treatment facility upgrades on the environmental and biological conditions of Indian Creek, downstream from the Middle Basin wastewater treatment facility (WWTF). Streamflow, discrete and continuously measured stream-water chemistry, streambed-sediment chemistry, and habitat data will be used to: evaluate differences in environmental conditions upstream and downstream from the wastewater discharge before and after WWTF upgrades; develop relations between continuously measured water-quality variables and discrete water-quality samples to define average annual concentrations and loads of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in Indian Creek; and determine the percent contribution of nutrients in wastewater discharge to total annual nutrient loads in Indian Creek. Periphyton, macroinvertebrate, and stream metabolism (primary productivity and respiration of biological communities) data will be used to evaluate differences in biological conditions upstream and downstream of the WWTF. Evaluation of both environmental and biological data allow assessment of the physical, chemical, and resulting ecological impacts of the Middle Basin discharge into Indian Creek.

Objectives

The specific objective of this proposed study is to assess the effects of the Middle Basin wastewater discharge and treatment facility upgrades (completed summer 2010) on the environmental and biological conditions of Indian Creek. This objective will be accomplished with the following general approaches:

  1. Determination of significant differences in water-quality, habitat, and biological community structure (periphyton and macroinvertebrates) and function (primary productivity and respiration) between sites located upstream and downstream of the wastewater discharges into Indian Creek.
  2. Development of relations between continuously monitored water-quality variables and discrete water-quality samples to define the average annual concentrations and loads of total nitrogen and total phosphorus in Indian Creek.
  3. Determination of the percent contribution of nutrients in wastewater discharge to total annual nutrient loads in Indian Creek.

Photos of Interest

Macroinvertebrate sample collection
Macroinvertebrate sample collection
Indian Creek at Indian Creek Parkway
Indian Creek at Indian Creek Parkway
Site Map

Publications:

2014
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