Streamflow, Water Quality, and Constituent Loads and Yields, Scituate Reservoir Drainage Area, Rhode Island, Water Year 2017

Open-File Report 2019-1039
Prepared in cooperation with the Providence Water Supply Board, Rhode Island
By:

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Abstract

As part of a long-term cooperative program to monitor water quality within the Scituate Reservoir drainage area, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Providence Water Supply Board, collected streamflow and water-quality data at the Scituate Reservoir and tributaries. Streamflow and concentrations of chloride and sodium estimated from records of specific conductance were used to calculate loads of chloride and sodium during water year 2017 (October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017) for tributaries to the Scituate Reservoir, Rhode Island. Streamflow was measured or estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey following standard methods at 23 streamgages; 14 of these streamgages are equipped with instrumentation capable of continuously monitoring water level, specific conductance, and water temperature. Water-quality samples were collected by the Providence Water Supply Board at 36 sampling stations, which also include the 14 continuous-record streamgages maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey, during water year 2017 as part of a long-term sampling program; all stations are in the Scituate Reservoir drainage area. Water-quality data collected by the Providence Water Supply Board are summarized by using values of central tendency and are used, in combination with measured (or estimated) streamflows, to calculate loads and yields (loads per unit area) of selected water-quality constituents for water year 2017.

The Ponaganset River, which is the largest tributary to the reservoir and was monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey, contributed a mean streamflow of 29 cubic feet per second to the reservoir during water year 2017. For the same period, annual mean streamflows measured (or estimated) for the other monitoring stations in this study ranged from about 0.44 to about 20 cubic feet per second. Together, tributaries equipped with instrumentation capable of continuously monitoring specific conductance transported about 3,100 metric tons of chloride and 1,900 metric tons of sodium to the Scituate Reservoir during water year 2017; chloride yields for the tributaries ranged from 16 to 140 metric tons per square mile, and sodium yields, from 10 to 80 metric tons per square mile.

At the stations where water-quality samples were collected by the Providence Water Supply Board, the medians of the median concentrations were 25.3 milligrams per liter for chloride, 0.002 milligram per liter as nitrogen for nitrite, 0.10 milligram per liter as nitrogen for nitrate, 0.05 milligram per liter as phosphate for orthophosphate, 1,200 colony forming units per 100 milliliters for total coliform bacteria, and 14 colony forming units per 100 milliliters for Escherichia coli (E. coli). The medians of the median daily loads of chloride, nitrite, nitrate, orthophosphate, total coliform, and E. coli bacteria were 230 kilograms per day, 17 grams per day, 860 grams per day, 690 grams per day, 84,000 million colony forming units per day, and 1,200 million colony forming units per day, respectively. The medians of the median yields of chloride, nitrite, nitrate, orthophosphate, total coliform, and E. coli bacteria were were 87 kilograms per day per square mile, 6.1 grams per day per square mile, 280 grams per day per square mile, 260 grams per day per square mile, 44,000 million colony forming units per day per square mile, and 655 million colony forming units per day per square mile, respectively.

Suggested Citation

Smith, K.P., 2019, Streamflow, water quality, and constituent loads and yields, Scituate Reservoir drainage area, Rhode Island, water year 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1039, 33 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191039.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Streamflow Data Collection and Estimation
  • Water-Quality Data Collection and Analysis
  • Estimating Daily, Monthly, and Annual Loads and Yields
  • Streamflow
  • Water Quality and Constituent Loads and Yields
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Streamflow, water quality, and constituent loads and yields, Scituate Reservoir Drainage Area, Rhode Island, Water Year 2017
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2019-1039
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191039
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New England Water Science Center
Description Report: v, 33 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Rhode Island
Other Geospatial Scituate Reservoir Drainage Area
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N