Date

2019 12:00 AM

Major

Environmental Science

Department

Ecology, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology

College

Agriculture and Life Sciences

Project Advisor

Laura Merrick

Description

There is an abundance of evidence to suggest that humans have dramatically altered - sometimes permanently - the hydrology of the landscapes that we inhabit. In Iowa, tile drainage, land-cover changes, and urbanization have drastically modified stream and lake processes to suit human needs. This project, part of a larger research effort from the University Translational Research Network (U-TuRN) at Iowa State University, uses the small and rapidly urbanizing watershed of South Worrell Creek to examine human and natural factors controlling water quality with a particular interest in the dynamics of two of Iowa’s most serious surface water contaminants: E. coli and phosphorus. The objective was to learn more about water quality dynamics, engage citizens, and bring together stakeholders and homeowners through the vital resource that connects us all: water. This was achieved through water sampling and testing, the use of GIS mapping and non-point source pollution estimation tools, as well as educational outreach. This study found E. coli concentrations well above state recreational water standards and that pollutants and soil were mobilized by periods of storm runoff from heavy rainfall, posing a threat to the newly constructed public park, the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor, and water quality further downstream.

File Format

application/pdf

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Tracking E. coli, Nitrate, and Phosphorous Pollution in an Urban-Rural Watershed

There is an abundance of evidence to suggest that humans have dramatically altered - sometimes permanently - the hydrology of the landscapes that we inhabit. In Iowa, tile drainage, land-cover changes, and urbanization have drastically modified stream and lake processes to suit human needs. This project, part of a larger research effort from the University Translational Research Network (U-TuRN) at Iowa State University, uses the small and rapidly urbanizing watershed of South Worrell Creek to examine human and natural factors controlling water quality with a particular interest in the dynamics of two of Iowa’s most serious surface water contaminants: E. coli and phosphorus. The objective was to learn more about water quality dynamics, engage citizens, and bring together stakeholders and homeowners through the vital resource that connects us all: water. This was achieved through water sampling and testing, the use of GIS mapping and non-point source pollution estimation tools, as well as educational outreach. This study found E. coli concentrations well above state recreational water standards and that pollutants and soil were mobilized by periods of storm runoff from heavy rainfall, posing a threat to the newly constructed public park, the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor, and water quality further downstream.