Water-quality assessment for Arvada Reservoir, Denver metropolitan area, Colorado

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4107




Water quality data were collected from Arvada Reservoir, Colorado, and from its major inflows, Ralston Creek and Croke Canal, to assess the water quality of the reservoir, to evaluate the effect of water from various sources on the reservoir, and to estimate the trophic state of the reservoir. Data were collected at five sites in Arvada Reservoir, one site in Ralston Creek, and two sites in Croke Canal. The study began in June 1983 (just before filling in May 1984) and continued through September 1985. The reservoir was thermally stratified on most sampling dates from April through September. Dissolved-oxygen concentrations ranged from 0 to 12.0 milligrams per liter, and the reservoir was anaerobic below the 10-meter depth during most of the summer. Secchi-disk-depth measurements ranged from 0.9 to 5.5 meters and generally increased during the study period, possibly because of decreases in nonalgal turbidity after the reservoir was filled. Water from the reservoir generally is of suitable quality for a raw-water-supply source and for maintenance of aquatic life. Total-nitrogen and total-phosphorus concentrations were small, and both were growth-limiting factors in the reservoir. The phytoplankton community was diverse, and the most dominant taxa were diatoms. Phytoplankton densities ranged from 1,400 to 29,000 cells per millimeter, and chlorophyll alpha concentrations ranged from 0.0 to 20.4 micrograms per liter. (USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
Water-quality assessment for Arvada Reservoir, Denver metropolitan area, Colorado
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 66 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.