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Trends in surface-water quality during implementation of best-management practices in Mill Creek and Muddy Run Basins, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Fact Sheet 168-99

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Abstract

Analyses of water samples collected over a 5-year period (1993-98) in the Mill Creek and Muddy Run Basins during implementation of agricultural best-management practices (BMP’s) indicate statistically signifi- cant trends in the concentrations of several nutrient species and in nonfilterable residue (suspended solids). The strongest trends identified were those indicated by a more than 50- percent decrease in the flow-adjusted concentrations of total and dissolved phosphorus and total residue in base flow in the two streams. Analyses of stormflow samples showed a 31-percent decrease in the flow-adjusted concentration of total phosphorus in Mill Creek and a 54-percent decrease in total nonfilterable residue in Muddy Run. A 58-percent increase in the flow-adjusted concentration of total ammonia nitrogen in stormflow was found at Muddy Run. Although the effects of a specific BMP on the indicated trends is uncertain, results of statistical trend tests of the data suggest that stream fencing, possibly in concert with other practices, such as stream crossings for livestock, barnyard runoff control, manure-storage facilities, and rotational grazing, was effective in improving water quality during base flow and probably low to moderate stormflow conditions. Additional improvements in water quality in the Mill Creek and Muddy Run Basins seems likely as the implementation of BMP’s is expected to continue. Thus, the full effect of BMP implementation in the two basins may not be observed for some time.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Trends in surface-water quality during implementation of best-management practices in Mill Creek and Muddy Run Basins, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
168-99
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Pennsylvania Water Science Center
Description:
1 folded sheet ([6] p.) : col. ill., col. map ; 28 x 64 cm. folded to 28 x 22 cm. col. ill., col. map ;