Water-quality trends in the Scituate reservoir drainage area, Rhode Island, 1983-2012

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Organization: 

Publication Year: 

2015

Abstract: 

The Scituate Reservoir is the primary source of drinking water for more than 60 percent of the population of Rhode Island. Water-quality and streamflow data collected at 37 surface-water monitoring stations in the Scituate Reservoir drainage area, Rhode Island, from October 2001 through September 2012, water years (WYs) 2002–12, were analyzed to determine water-quality conditions and constituent loads in the drainage area. Trends in water quality, including physical properties and concentrations of constituents, were investigated for the same period and for a longer period from October 1982 through September 2012 (WYs 1983–2012). Water samples were collected and analyzed by the Providence Water Supply Board, the agency that manages the Scituate Reservoir. Streamflow data were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey. Median values and other summary statistics for pH, color, turbidity, alkalinity, chloride, nitrite, nitrate, total coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and orthophosphate were calculated for WYs 2003–12 for all 37 monitoring stations. Instantaneous loads and yields (loads per unit area) of total coliform bacteria and E. coli, chloride, nitrite, nitrate, and orthophosphate were calculated for all sampling dates during WYs 2003–12 for 23 monitoring stations with streamflow data. Values of physical properties and concentrations of constituents were compared with State and Federal water-quality standards and guidelines and were related to streamflow, land-use characteristics, varying classes of timber operations, and impervious surface areas.

Document Type: 

  • Report

Tags: 

  • critical issues, database publication, water quality, rhode island