The quality of surface water on Sanibel Island, Florida, 1976-77

Open-File Report 79-1478



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The quality of surface water in parts of the interior of Sanibel Island, Fla., has been periodically degraded by high concentrations of salt or macronutrients and by low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. In 1976 the chloride concentration of surface water ranged from about 500 milligrams per liter to almost that of seawater, 19,000 milligrams per liter. The highest salinities were during the dry season of 1976 in the Sanibel River near the Tarpon Bay control structure and are attributed to leakage of saline water past the structure. The highest concentrations of macronutrients occurred during the dry season in the eastern reach of the Sanibel River, where concentrations generally exceeded 4.0 milligrams per liter total nitrogen and 0.9 milligrams per liter total phosphorus. Concentrations of dissolved oxygen were lowest in the wet season along an eastern reach of the Sanibel River and in several nearby ponds and canals where near-anaerobic conditions prevailed. The high concentration of macronutrients and the low dissolved oxygen are attributed, in part, to urban and sewage effluent that flow directly or seep into surface water. (Kosco-USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
The quality of surface water on Sanibel Island, Florida, 1976-77
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
vi, 56 p. :ill., maps ;27 cm.