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During this study, 369 benthic-invertebrate samples were collected at 21 sites and 33 streambed-sediment samples were collected at 14 sites to help develop and evaluate control strategies to mediate the impact of point and nonpoint sources of pollution on the White River and selected tributaries in and near Indianapolis, Indiana. Data analyses show that 124 taxa were identified and that most of the benthic invertebrates found belong to one of three taxa: the pollution-tolerant Diptera and the pollution-intolerant Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera. The Hilsenhoff Biotic Index, which was calculated from the number of arthropods and their tolerance to pollution, ranged from 4.4 (very good) to 9.4 (very poor) on the White River, and from 4.9 (good) to 9.1 (very poor) on the tributaries. The Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) Richness Index, which was calculated from the number of taxa in pollution-intolerant species, ranged from 0 to 9 for the White River and from 0 to 9 for the tributaries. A high EPT Richness Index value reflects a great diversity of pollution-intolerant invertebrates at a site and generally indicates good water quality. A comparison of data collected during the 1994 through 1996 study to data collected during a 1981 through 1987 study indicates that the proportion of pollution-tolerant taxa increased in the immediate vicinity of Indianapolis. This increase may be an indicator that the water quality in the immediate vicinity of Indianapolis has declined since the earlier study. Comparison of the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index values, however, indicates there has been no change since the previous study. In the analysis of streambed sediments, small amounts of 12 metals were detected. Of those, only lead exceeded sediment-quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life in three samples from two sites. Thirteen insecticides were detected in the streambed sediments, and of those only chlordane exceeded sediment-quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life. Seventeen semivolatile organic compounds also were detected in streambed sediments at nine sites: four on the White River and five on the tributaries. Six of these compounds exceeded sedimentquality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Benthic invertebrates and quality of streambed sediments in the White River and selected tributaries in and near Indianapolis, Indiana, 1994-96
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;
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