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Water Quality Conditions in Steamboat Creek, Washoe County, NV, with particular emphasis on NPS Loading of N, P, and selected Metals

Summary: 
While there is a currently established and comprehensive water quality monitoring program on the lower portion of the Truckee River downstream of Reno, and nutrient load entering the river from the Reno-Sparks Wastewater Treatment Facility (RSWTF) is well documented, very little is known about the magnitude and importance of nonpoint source (NPS) nutrients from the urban-agricultural watershed south of Reno. Indeed, in many systems, nonpoint source pollution to receiving bodies exceeds point source discharge. In response to this, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with the Washoe County Department of Comprehensive Planning has been conducting an extensive water quality monitoring program on Steamboat Creek and its major tributaries in order to (1) determine the relative magnitude of this creek with regard to nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the Truckee River and (2) determine its contribution of metals and its effect on downstream water quality. In this report we examine the data base which was collected between 1987 and 1991 when samples were taken bi-monthly from fifteen (15) locations. The purpose of this data evaluation is to: summarize physical, chemical and biological darn taken during the 1987-1991 monitoring of Steamboat Creek and its major tributaries; describe changes in constituent concentration as water flows downstream towards the Truckee River calculate changes in nitrogen and phosphorus load by reach of stream; describe changes in metals concentrations in the study system and identify sources; use correlational relationships to assist in the interpretation of water quality data; estimate nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the Truckee River via Steamboat Creek and compare this to other regional point and nonpoint sources; provide a preliminary evaluation of recommended N-removal techniques and; recommend future studies.
Primary Contact: 
Rights: 
Creative Commons - Commercial Use OK
Status: 
Completed
Contributors: 
Date Range: 
2016-06-22

While there is a currently established and comprehensive water quality monitoring program on the lower portion of the Truckee River downstream of Reno, and nutrient load entering the river from the Reno-Sparks Wastewater Treatment Facility (RSWTF) is well documented, very little is known about the magnitude and importance of nonpoint source (NPS) nutrients from the urban-agricultural watershed south of Reno. Indeed, in many systems, nonpoint source pollution to receiving bodies exceeds point source discharge. In response to this, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, in cooperation with the Washoe County Department of Comprehensive Planning has been conducting an extensive water quality monitoring program on Steamboat Creek and its major tributaries in order to (1) determine the relative magnitude of this creek with regard to nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the Truckee River and (2) determine its contribution of metals and its effect on downstream water quality.

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