Nitrification in four acidic streams in southern New Jersey

Water-Resources Investigations Report 77-121




Four characteristically acidic streams in southern New Jersey were investigated to determine the effect of secondary effluent on nitrification in the receiving waters. Chemical and microbiological data were obtained at four sites on each stream. From these data seven factors were evaluated to determine the proclivity of each stream to nitrify. pH, water temperature, and dissolved oxygen were used to describe the general condition of the streams, while neutralization of alkalinity, nitrogen species concentration trends, biological and nitrogenous oxygen demand incubations, and nitrifying bacteria densities were used to determine the actual presence of nitrification in each stream. Each stream had a unique distribution of conditions, making it possible to qualitatively rank the streams according to their proclivity to nitrify. Hay StackBrook showes strong evidence for nitrification on the basis of all four nitrification indicators, whereas Landing Creek showed little, if any, evidence of nitrification. Hammonton Creek is apparently nitrifying, but because of the uncertainty in the downstream trends of the nitrogen species and a lower level of alkalinity neutralization, it is nitrifying less than Hay Stack Brook. Squankum Branch also showed some evidence for nitrification, mostly on the basis of the biological and nitrogenous oxygen demand incubations. Although these streams are acidic in character, acidity does not appear to be an exclusive factor in determining whether a stream will undergo nitrification. (Woodard-USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Nitrification in four acidic streams in southern New Jersey
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey (WRD),
vi, 51 p. :ill., maps ;26 cm.