Preliminary water-quality assessment of the upper White River near Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana

Open-File Report 81-408

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The White River Park Commission is planning the development of park facilities along the White River through Indianapolis, Ind. A key element in the planning is the determination of whether water quality of the river is suitable for recreation. A preliminary water-quality assessment conducted August 4-5, 1980, indicated that, during low-flow steady-state conditions, the river is suitable for partial body contact recreation (any contact with water up to, but not including complete submergence). Dissolved-oxygen concentrations varied but were higher than the Indiana water-quality standards established to ensure conditions for the maintenance of a well-balanced, warm-water fish community. High fecal-coliform densities that have been observed in the White River during high streamflow are probably caused by stormwater runoff carried by combined storm and sanitary sewers. However, during the low-flow, steady-state conditions on August 4-5, 1980, fecal-coliform densities were within the Indiana standards for partial body contact recreation. Quantities of organic matter and concentrations of nutrients and heavy metals in the White River were generally within the limits recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and were generally similar to values for other Indiana rivers. Chromium, copper, lead, zinc, and mercury are accumulating in bottom materials downstream from 30th Street. The phytoplankton concentrations in the White River were high. The dominant phytoplankton species were indicative of rivers moderately affected by organic wastes. (USGS)

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Preliminary water-quality assessment of the upper White River near Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
vii, 57 p.
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