Population growth and urbanization affect the landscape, and the quality and quantity of water in nearby rivers and streams, as well as downstream receiving waters (Ellis, 1999). Typical impacts include: (1) disruption of the hydrologic cycle through increases in the extent of impervious surfaces (e.g., roads, roofs, sidewalks) that increase the velocity and volume of surface-water runoff; (2) increased chemical loads to local and downstream receiving waters from industrial sources, nonpoint-source runoff, leaking sewer systems, and sewer overflows; (3) direct or indirect soil contamination from industrial sources, power-generating facilities, and landfills; and (4) reduction in the quantity and quality of aquatic habitats.
The City of Atlanta's monitoring network consists of 21 long-term sites. Eleven of these are 'fully instrumented' to provide real-time data on water temperature, pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, turbidity (intended as a surrogate for suspended sediment concentration), water level (gage height, intended as a surrogate for discharge), and precipitation. Data are transmitted hourly and are available on a public Web site (http://ga.water.usgs.gov/). Two sites only measure water level and rainfall as an aid to stormwater monitoring. The eight remaining sites are used to assess water quality.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
The U.S. Geological Survey and City of Atlanta water-quality and water-quantity monitoring network