The potential effects of chemicals in rivers and streams on human health or the ecology have long been a source of concern to water managers. Chemicals in rivers may result from natural or anthropogenic sources (such as industrial or residential practices) which are commonly associated with urbanized watersheds. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the San Antonio Water System, examined water-quality data collected from periodic and stormflow sampling events at five sites in the upper San Antonio River Basin during 1992–98. These water-quality data were compared among sites as well as between periodic and stormflow events. The samples were collected from five continuous streamflow-gaging stations in Bexar County, Texas. Samples were analyzed for major ions, nutrients, trace elements, and organic compounds, including selected pesticides. The reported concentrations for the measured constituents varied among sites as well as between periodic and stormflow samples. Patterns for some constituents, such as nutrients, were observed; however, consistent patterns were not always observed for all analytes. For example, median concentrations for filtered ammonia, nitrate plus nitrite, organic nitrogen, and phosphorus generally were greater in periodic samples collected from the Medina and SAR Elmendorf sites as compared to samples collected from the other sites. Median concentrations of trace elements measured in periodic samples were generally less than concentrations measured in stormflow samples. In general, most of the concentrations of analyzed organic compounds were less than the laboratory reporting levels.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Surface-water quality in the upper San Antonio River Basin, Bexar County, Texas, 1992-98
U.S. Geological Survey
Texas Water Science Center
iv, 60 p.; col. ill.; maps (col.); Appendices: 1-3