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Water quality of North Carolina streams; water-quality characteristics for selected sites on the Cape Fear River, North Carolina, 1955-1980; variability, loads, and trends of selected constituents

Water Supply Paper 2185-F

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Abstract

Historical water-quality data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey from the Cape Fear River at Lock 1, near Kelly, North Carolina, show increasing concentrations of total-dissolved solids, specific conductance, sulfate, chloride, nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, magnesium, sodium, and potassium during the past 25 years. Silica and pH show decreasing trends during the same 1957-80 period. These long-term changes in water quality are statistically related to increasing population in the basin and especially to manufacturing employment. Comparisons of water-quality data for present conditions with estimated natural conditions indicate that over 50 percent of the loads of most major dissolved substances in the river at Lock 1 are the result of development impacts in the basin. Over 80 percent of the nutrients plus nitrate nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen, and total phosphorus presently in the streams originate from development. At four sampling stations on the Cape Fear River and its tributaries, recent water-quality data show that most constituents are always within North Carolina water-quality standards and Environmental Protection Agency water-quality criteria. However, iron, manganese and mercury concentrations usually exceed standards. Although no algal problems have been identified in the Cape Fear River, nitrogen and phosphorus are present in concentrations that have produced nuisance algal growths in lakes

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water quality of North Carolina streams; water-quality characteristics for selected sites on the Cape Fear River, North Carolina, 1955-1980; variability, loads, and trends of selected constituents
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
2185
Chapter:
F
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1985
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vii, 44 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.