A Study of Water Quality

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Water Quality Study

December 17, 2008

A Study of Water Quality in Big Haynes Creek

Rockdale Magnet School for
Science and Technology
1174 Bulldog Circle
Conyers, GA 30012
December 17, 2008

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Water Quality Study

December 17, 2008
Table of Contents

Introduction

p. 3

Literature Review

p. 3

Methodology

p. 9

Data Interpretation

p. 11

Discussion and Conclusions

p. 17

References

p. 21

Appendix A: Detailed Procedures

p. 25

Appendix B: Experimental Design Diagram

p. 29

Appendix C: Raw Data

p. 30

Appendix D: Flow Chart

p. 34

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Water Quality Study

December 17, 2008

Introduction
Watersheds include both water and land components (Dobson and Beck, 1999). Wildlife need them for food and shelter, and we need them as a source of potable water, as well as for irrigation and industry (Getting to know your local watershed, n.d.). If watersheds are not protected, it is likely that there will be a decrease in wildlife diversity and water quality that will weaken the economy.

Most water quality problems can be traced to point-source and nonpoint-source pollution. Non-point source pollution is harder to control because it does not come from a determined source (Getting to know your local watershed, n.d.). Water quality damage is blamed partly on the growth of the United State’s population and urban expansion, as well as development (Water science for schools, 2005).

This project involved a study of the water quality of Big Haynes Creek and Randy Poynter Lake. The question being addressed was how the reservoir affects water quality. The research hypothesis stated that there would be a significant change in water quality of Big Haynes Creek after it exited Randy Poynter Lake. The null hypothesis stated that there would be no significant change in the water quality of Big Haynes Creek. This is a continuation of a previous project, which was a seasonal study of water quality in the Upper Ocmulgee watershed as a whole.

Literature Review
There have been several other studies done on water quality in Big Haynes Creek. One example is a study on riparian buffers in Big Haynes Creek. The purpose was to protect the water quality upstream from the intake of raw water. The study addressed

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Water Quality Study

December 17, 2008

water quality through riparian protection (Cannon, Hawks, and Keyes, n.d.). The definition of riparian is anything dealing with the edges of streams or rivers (Definition of riparian, 2007). Surveys were conducted along Big Haynes Creek from Jack Turner Dam to the Rockdale County drinking water intake. Surveys were also conducted along Little Haynes Creek from the junction of Big Haynes Creek to the Walton County line (Cannon, Hawks, and Keyes, n.d.).

Sites along the streams were documented using a photolog. Two scores were given to the sites: one based on the ecological value for water quality and the other on the risk factor for further degradation due to human impact. Both were given qualitative scales. The scale for the ecological value was from one to six, with six representing the highest ecological value. The risk ranking score was from one to five, with five representing the highest risk for future degradation (Cannon, Hawks, and Keyes, n.d.). A total of seventy-six sites were ranked during this study. Twenty-one percent of the tested sites had an ecological score that was below optimal. Forty-five percent of the sites had an optimal score, and thirty-four percent had an optimal score. Over sixty-four percent of the sites had a high or medium risk associated with development that could affect the area’s ecology. Seven sites had an overall score of eleven, the highest possible score to achieve (Cannon, Hawks, and Keyes, n.d.).

The study revealed that the riparian zone was in fairly good health. There were some minimal impact zones around bridge crossings and residential developments. Most of the bans were stable....
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