During 2002, a baseline study of hydrologic conditions was conducted, and selected features were mapped within the Mt. Pisgah campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Haywood County, North Carolina. Field surveys were performed by using global positioning system equipment one time (January 2002) during the study to locate hydrologic and other types of features in the study area. Water-level and streamflow data and seasonal water-quality samples were collected from a stream that receives all surface-water drainage from the campground area. During 2002, water levels (stage) in the stream ranged from 1.09 to 1.89 feet above gage datum (4,838.06 to 4,838.86 feet above mean sea level). Flow in the stream ranged from 0.05 to 9.7 cubic feet per second. Annual daily mean flow for calendar year 2002 was approximately 0.35 cubic foot per second (about 226,000 gallons per day). Samples collected from the stream had low concentrations of all constituents measured. Four compounds associated with human activity (camphor, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (the insect repellent DEET), tributylphosphate, and methylsalicylate) were detected in the stream samples; however, concentrations were less than detection levels. Stream samples collected in April and September and analyzed for fecal coliform bacteria had densities of 76 and 110 colonies per 100 milliliters of water, respectively. No violations of water-quality standards were noted for any constituent measured in the stream samples.
Seven shallow ground-water wells were installed near a natural area in the center of the campground. Ground-water levels measured periodically in these wells and in two existing shallow piezometers generally were highest in the spring and lowest in the fall. Water temperature, pH, and specific conductance were measured in samples collected from the shallow wells in April and September 2002. Measured pH values were consistently lowest in samples from two wells on the west side of the natural area and highest in samples from the well located near the center of the natural area. Specific-conductance values measured in samples from wells on the east side of the natural area were lower than those measured in samples from the other wells. Specific-conductance values measured in samples from two wells on the west side and from one well near the center of the natural area generally were two to three times higher than the specific-conductance values measured in samples from wells on the east side of the natural area.
Samples for fecal coliform bacteria were collected from six wells on September 11, 2002. The fecal coliform densities in samples from most of the wells were less than or equal to 8 colonies per 100 milliliters. Samples from two of the three wells on the west side of the natural area had coliform densities of 16 and 480 colonies per 100 milliliters.
Other ground-water samples collected on September 11 and September 24 were analyzed with a spectrophotometer in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) North Carolina District Office for nitrate concentrations only. From the samples collected on September 11, estimated nitrate concentrations of 1 milligram per liter or less were detected in three wells, two on the west side and one on the east side of the natural area. Nitrate was not detected with a spectrophotometer in any of the ground-water samples collected on September 24. Indicator test strips also were used in the field to screen for nitrate and nitrite in ground-water samples collected on September 24. Nitrate was detected by test strips in one well on the west side of the natural area, with estimated concentrations of 1 milligram per liter or less indicated. Nitrite was not detected by the test strips in samples collected from any of the wells.