During 2003–2008, the U.S. Geological Survey sampled 13 sites in the Indianapolis metropolitan area in Indiana for benthic invertebrates, fish communities, and streambed-sediment chemistry. Data from seven White River sites and six tributary sites complement surface-water chemistry data collected by the Indianapolis Department of Public Works. The information is being used to assess changes in water quality in conjunction with the City's programs to reduce combined sewer overflows and other point and nonpoint sources of pollution in the Indianapolis area. During the study, 233 benthic-invertebrate taxa were identified from which the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) Index, the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI), and the Invertebrate Community Index (ICI) were calculated. EPT index scores ranged from 2 to 16 on the White River and from 2 to 17 on the tributaries. EPT index scores indicate that these pollution-intolerant taxa are more prevalent upstream from and away from the combined-sewer areas of Indianapolis. HBI scores from sites on the White River ranged from 4.67 (good) to 9.55 (very poor), whereas on the tributaries, scores ranged from 4.21 (very good) to 8.14 (poor). Lower HBI scores suggest that less organic pollution was present and, like the EPT scores, indicate better conditions where combined-sewer overflows (CSOs) are not present. Similarly, ICI scores indicated better conditions upstream from the CSO outfalls on the White River. White River scores ranged from 12 to 46, where higher ICI scores indicate better conditions in the benthic-invertebrate community. ICI scores at the tributary sites ranged from 12 to 52, with the highest scores on streams without CSOs.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Biological assessment and streambed-sediment chemistry of streams in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, Indiana, 2003–2008
Scientific Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey
Indiana Water Science Center
xiii, 53 p. ; col. ill.; Tables; Appendices; PDF Downloads of Appendices 1-3; ZIP Downloads of Appendices 1-3