Water-quality and physical characteristics of streams in the Treyburn development area of Falls Lake watershed, North Carolina, 1994-98

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2002-4046

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Treyburn is a 5,400-acre planned, mixed-use development in the upper Neuse River Basin of North Carolina. The development, which began in 1986, is located in the Falls Lake watershed near three water-supply reservoirs-Lake Michie to the north, Falls Lake to the southeast, and Little River Reservoir to the west. A study began in 1988 to determine the water-quality characteristics of surface waters in and around the Treyburn development area. Data to characterize water quality at five different sites were collected from July 1994 through September 1998. Data from a previous study are available for some sites for the period 1988-93. The sites were selected to characterize water quality and quantity in and near the Treyburn development and included an undeveloped basin, a relatively small basin containing single-family residences and a golf course, a basin downstream from the western part of the development with some industrial land use, and two basins unaffected by the development where agricultural land is being converted to urban and forested land use. Suspended-sediment concentrations ranged from less than 1 to 581 milligrams per liter and were fairly uniform among the five sites. Median suspended-sediment concentrations ranged from 12 to 21 milligrams per liter. Few concentrations of metals and trace elements, except aluminum, iron, and manganese, exceeded the laboratory reporting levels or water-quality criteria. At one site, concentrations of silver exceeded both the action level and the reporting level; copper was detected at each site and exceeded the action level of 7 micrograms per liter at one site. The lowest range and median concentrations of total organic nitrogen, nitrate, ammonia, total phosphorus, and orthophosphorus occurred in the relatively undisturbed, forested site. The maximum concentration of organic nitrogen (1.97 milligrams per liter) occurred at one of the sites unaffected by the Treyburn development where agricultural land is being converted to urban land use. At all sites, ammonia concentrations ranged from less than 0.02 to 0.36 milligram per liter, and median concentrations were near the reporting level. Nitrate concentrations ranged from less than 0.05 to 0.80 milligram per liter. Phosphorus concentrations at all of the Treyburn study sites were low compared to phosphorus concentrations that typically exceed 0.1 milligram per liter at sites sampled nationally for the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program, including the Albemarle-Pamlico study area in North Carolina. Total phosphorus concentrations ranged from less than 0.01 to 0.87 milligram per liter, and orthophosphorus concentrations ranged from less than 0.01 to 0.76 milligram per liter as phosphorus. The maximum concentrations of total phosphorus and orthophosphorus occurred at the Treyburn residential and golf-course site, likely as a result of the fertilizer applications associated with these two types of land use. Of the 119 different pesticides tested, 11 were detected in concentrations that exceeded the laboratory reporting levels, though in very low concentrations. Water samples from the residential and golf-course site contained the greatest number of pesticides (10). Five of six samples collected at this site had detectable concentrations of simazine, atrazine, and pendimethalin-all herbicides used to control weeds in crops or turf. Channel geometry was assessed at eight sites in the study area in February 1997. These sites were separated into three groups based on mean bank angle and mean channel width-to-depth ratios. Channel gradient ranged from 0.04 to 1.63 percent, and mean cross sectional area ranged from 31 to 1,227 square feet. Three macroinvertebrate samples were collected from each of 10 sites. These three samples were from areas designated as richest targeted habitats, depositional targeted habitats, and qualitative multitargeted habitats. Over 230 taxa were identified from th

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USGS Numbered Series
Water-quality and physical characteristics of streams in the Treyburn development area of Falls Lake watershed, North Carolina, 1994-98
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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80 p.