In 1983, the City of Indianapolis, Indiana, completed construction of advanced wastewater treatment (AWT) systems to enlarge and upgrade its existing Belmont Road and Southport Road secondary treatment plants. A nonparametric statistical procedure, a modified form of the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney rank-sum test, was used to test for trends in water quality at two upstream and two downstream sites on White River and at the two treatment plants. Results comparing the pre- (1978-1980) and post- (1983-1988) AWT periods show statistically significant improvements in the quality of the treated effluent and of the White River downstream from the plants. Water quality at sites upstream from the city was relatively constant during the period of study. Total ammonia (as N) decreased 14.6 mg/L and BOD5 (five-day biochemical oxygen demand) decreased 10 to 19 mg/L in the two effluents. Total ammonia in the river downstream from the plants decreased 0.8 to 1.9 mg/L and BOD5 decreased 2.3 to 2.5 mg/L. Nitrate (as N) increased 14.5 mg/L in the plant effluents and 2.0 to 2.4 mg/L in the river because of in-plant nitrification. Dissolved oxygen concentration in the river increased about 3 mg/L because of reduced oxygen demand for nitrification and biochemical oxidation processes.
Additional publication details
Effects of advanced wastewater treatment on the quality of White River, Indiana