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Wilson's Creek has an extensive history of toxicity from both point and nonpoint sources. Seven-day chronic daphnid (Ceriodaphnia dubia) bioassays identified one toxic site in the Wilson's Creek watershed. Procedures for the characterization phase of a Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) were modified for chronic assessment and performed on four water samples from the toxic site. The characterization involved chemical/physical alterations of samples, combined with bioassays, to help in identification of the class(es) of toxicants; followed by chemical analyses. To help understand the additivity of mixtures, toxic units were derived. Successive samples contained concentrations of copper, cadmium, nickel and zinc that literature values describe as being chronically toxic to daphnids. Summed chronic toxic units for these values greatly exceeded ambient toxic units, and more than accounted for observed toxicity. Substantial fluctuations in water quality occurred over the five sampling periods of the characterization studies and a Test of Methods, June through August, 1991. This variability illustrates the difficulty in detecting and documenting nonpoint sources of pollution. Tests using living organisms, in conjunction with toxicity identification methods, on samples taken over time appear to be appropriate for detecting acute and chronic toxicity in areas impacted by intermittent point and nonpoint-source toxicity.
Additional Publication Details
Characterization of toxic conditions above Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Park, Missouri
Journal of the American Water Resources Association