Water quality of Calero Reservoir, Santa Clara County, California, 1981-83

Water-Resources Investigations Report 86-4105




Data were collected from December 1980 to September 1983 to describe water quality conditions of Calero Reservoir and the Almaden-Calero canal, Santa Clara County, California. Results show that water in Calero Reservoir and the canal generally met water quality criteria, as identified by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board San Francisco Bay Region, for municipal and domestic supply, water contact and non-contact recreation, warm water fish habitat, wildlife habitat, and fish spawning. Water temperature profiles show that Calero Reservoir can be classified as a warm monomictic reservoir. Water transparency profiles showed rapid attenuation of light with depth in the water column. The depth of the euphotic zone ranged from .5 m to 5.0 m. In winter and spring, light-extinction values generally were high throughout the water column; in summer and fall, values generally were high near the reservoir bottom. Dissolved oxygen concentrations were < 5.0 mg/L in about 22% of the measurements. Median pH values were 7.9 in the reservoir and 8.4 in the canal. Mean specific conductance values were 299 microsiemens/cm at 25 C in the reservoir and 326 in the canal. Calcium and magnesium were the dominant cations and bicarbonate the dominant anion in Calero Reservoir. Concentrations of total recoverable mercury in the bottom sediments in Calero Reservoir ranged from 0.06 to 0.85 mg/kg, but concentrations in the water column were was generally < 1 mg/L. Mean total nitrogen concentration in the Reservoir was 1.00 mg/L, much of it in dissolved form (mean concentration was 0.85 mg/L). Mean total organic nitrogen concentration in Calero Reservoir was 0.65 mg/L, and mean total nitrate concentration was 0.21 mg/L. Mean total phosphorus and dissolved orthophosphorous concentrations were 0.05 and 0.019 mg/L, respectively. Net primary productivity in the euphotic zone ranged from -2,000 to 10,000 mg of oxygen/sq m/day; the median value was 930. Carlson 's trophic-state index, calculated using water transparency, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a values, indicated that the reservoir was eutrophic. Fecal coliform bacteria concentrations were < 20 colonies/100 ml in the reservoir and < 200 colonies/100 ml in the canal. Fecal streptococcal bacteria concentrations were generally < 45 colonies/100 ml in the reservoir and up to 260 colonies/100 ml in the canal. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Water quality of Calero Reservoir, Santa Clara County, California, 1981-83
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 41 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.