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Stream quality in the San Lorenzo River Basin, Santa Cruz County, California

Water-Resources Investigations Report 78-19

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Abstract

Stream quality was studied from November 1973 through June 1975 in the San Lorenzo River basin, Calif., a rapidly developing mountainous area. Dissolved-ion concentrations indicate the basin can be divided into three water-quality areas corresponding to three geologic areas. Pronounced changes in water quality occurred during storms when streamflow, turbidity, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and fecal-coliform bacteria concentrations increased, while dissolved-ion concentrations decreased owing to dilution. Total nitrogen and fecal-coliform concentrations exceeded State objectives in the Zayante and Branciforte Creek drainages probably because of domestic sewage from improperly operating septic-tank systems or the primary-treated sewage effluent discharged into a pit near Scotts Valley. Diel studies did not show appreciable dissolved-oxygen depletion in streams. Greater streamflows and residential development appear responsible for reduced diversity of benthic invertebrates downstream of the residential areas in the basin. (Woodard-USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Stream quality in the San Lorenzo River Basin, Santa Cruz County, California
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
78-19
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1978
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
Description:
v, 61 p. :ill., maps ;27 cm.