Biological and microbiological assessment of the upper Chattahoochee River basin, Georgia

Circular 796
By: , and 



Biological and microbiological studies were conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey as a part of the Intensive River-Quality Assessment studies of the upper Chattahoochee River basin, Georgia. Phytoplankton concentrations in cells per milliliter (cells/mL) were generally higher downstream from Atlanta than upstream. The highest concentrations, mostly blue-green algae, occurred in West Point Lake with an average of 90,000 cells/mL for the sampling period. The lowest concentrations, 1,000 cells/mL, occurred upstream of Lake Sidney Lanier. Dissolved orthophosphate and nitrite plus nitrate concentrations were highest in the river reaches and upper reaches of the two lakes and were lowest at the dam pools of both lakes. The high nitrite plus nitrate concentrations downstream from Atlanta were primarily a result of nitrification by Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria. Algal growth potential was highest downstream from Atlanta, 25 milligrams per liter (mg/L) at Whitesburg, and was the lowest in the headwaters and at the dam pools of Lake Sidney Lanier and West Point Lake. The rate of nitrification in the Atlanta to Franklin reach of the river was comparatively low, 0.02 mg/L per hour. Nitrification was an important cause of dissolved-oxygen consumption in a 45-mi reach of the river downstream from the Atlanta wastewater treatment facilities. Dissolved-oxygen consumption as a result of nitrification may be greatest during low flow. (Woodard-USGS)

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Biological and microbiological assessment of the upper Chattahoochee River basin, Georgia
Series title Circular
Series number 796
DOI 10.3133/cir796
Edition -
Year Published 1979
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey,
Contributing office(s) South Atlantic Water Science Center
Description iv, 22 p. :ill. ;28 cm.
Country United States
State Alabama, Georgia
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