In May 1996, the U.S. Geological Survey entered into a cooperative agreement with the Kershaw County Water and Sewer Authority to characterize and simulate the water quality in the Wateree River, South Carolina. Longitudinal profiling of dissolved-oxygen concentrations during the spring and summer of 1996 revealed dissolved-oxygen minimums occurring upstream from the point-source discharges. The mean dissolved-oxygen decrease upstream from the effluent discharges was 2.0 milligrams per liter, and the decrease downstream from the effluent discharges was 0.2 milligram per liter. Several theories were investigated to obtain an improved understanding of the dissolved-oxygen dynamics in the upper Wateree River. Data suggest that the dissolved-oxygen concentration decrease is associated with elevated levels of oxygen-consuming nutrients and metals that are flowing into the Wateree River from Lake Wateree.
Analysis of long-term streamflow and water-quality data collected at two U.S. Geological Survey gaging stations suggests that no strong correlation exists between streamflow and dissolved-oxygen concentrations in the Wateree River. However, a strong negative correlation does exist between dissolved-oxygen concentrations and water temperature. Analysis of data from six South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control monitoring stations for 1980.95 revealed decreasing trends in ammonia nitrogen at all stations where data were available and decreasing trends in 5-day biochemical oxygen demand at three river stations.
The influence of various hydrologic and point-source loading conditions on dissolved-oxygen concentrations in the Wateree River were determined by using results from water-quality simulations by the Branched Lagrangian Transport Model. The effects of five tributaries and four point-source discharges were included in the model. Data collected during two synoptic water-quality samplings on June 23.25 and August 11.13, 1997, were used to calibrate and validate the Branched Lagrangian Transport Model. The data include dye-tracer concentrations collected at six locations, stream-reaeration data collected at four locations, and water-quality and water-temperature data collected at nine locations. Hydraulic data for the Branched Lagrangian Transport Model were simulated by using the U.S. Geological Survey BRANCH one-dimensional, unsteady-flow model. Data that were used to calibrate and validate the BRANCH model included time-series of water-level and streamflow data at three locations. The domain of the hydraulic model and the transport model was a 57.3- and 43.5-mile reach of the river, respectively.
A sensitivity analysis of the simulated dissolved-oxygen concentrations to model coefficients and data inputs indicated that the simulated dissolved-oxygen concentrations were most sensitive to changes in the boundary concentration inputs of water temperature and dissolved oxygen followed by sensitivity to the change in streamflow. A 35-percent increase in streamflow resulted in a negative normalized sensitivity index, indicating a decrease in dissolved-oxygen concentrations. The simulated dissolved-oxygen concentrations showed no significant sensitivity to changes in model input rate kinetics.
To demonstrate the utility of the Branched Lagrangian Transport Model of the Wateree River, the model was used to simulate several hydrologic and water-quality scenarios to evaluate the effects on simulated dissolved-oxygen concentrations. The first scenario compared the 24-hour mean dissolved-oxygen concentrations for August 13, 1997, as simulated during the model validation, with simulations using two different streamflow patterns. The mean streamflow for August 13, 1997, was 2,000 cubic feet per second. Simulations were run using mean streamflows of 1,000 and 1,400 cubic feet per second while keeping the water-quality boundary conditions the same as were used during the validation simulations. When compared t
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Characterization of water quality and simulation of temperature, nutrients, biochemical oxygen demand, and dissolved oxygen in the Wateree River, South Carolina, 1996-98
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
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