In 1970, the Chester County Water Resources Authority (Pennsylvania) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established a long-term water-quality network with the goal of assessing the quality of streams in the county and understanding stream changes in response to urbanization using benthic-macroinvertebrate data. This database represents one of the longest continuous water-quality data sets in the country. Benthic macroinvertebrates are aquatic insects, such as mayﬂies, caddisﬂies, rifﬂe beetles, and midges, and other invertebrates that live on the stream bottom. Benthic macroinvertebrates are useful in evaluating stream quality because their habitat preferences and low motility cause them to be affected directly by substances that enter the aquatic system. By evaluating the diversity and community structure of benthic-macroinvertebrate populations, a determination of stream quality can be made.
Between 1981 and 1997, the network consisted of 43 sites in 5 major basins in Chester County—Delaware, Schuylkill, Brandywine, Big Elk and Octoraro, and Red and White Clay. Benthic-macroinvertebrate, water-chemistry, and habitat data were collected each year in October or November during base-ﬂow conditions. Using these data, Reif evaluated the overall water-quality condition of Chester County streams. This Fact Sheet summarizes the key ﬁndings from Reif for streams in the Schuylkill River Basin. These streams include Pigeon Creek (site 10), Stony Run (site 6), French Creek (sites 12-16), Pickering Creek (sites 1-5), Little Valley Creek (site 49), and Valley Creek (site 50). This summary includes an analysis of stream conditions based on benthic-macroinvertebrate samples and an analysis of trends in stream conditions for the 17-year study period.
Reif, A.G., 2002, Assessment of stream quality using biological indices at selected sites in the Schuylkill River basin, Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1981-97: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2002–0114, 4 p., https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/fs11402.
ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)
Table of Contents
- Study Approach
- Stream-Quality Designation Criteria
- Stream-Quality Assessment
- Trends in Benthic-Macoinvertebrate and Chemical Data
- References Cited
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Assessment of stream quality using biological indices at selected sites in the Schuylkill River basin, Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1981-97|
|Series title||Fact Sheet|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Reston, VA|
|Contributing office(s)||Pennsylvania Water Science Center|
|Online Only (Y/N)||Y|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|