A study of the South Prong of Spavinaw Creek Basin conducted baween July 14 and July 23. 1993. described the surface- and ground-water quality of the basin and the streamflow gain and loss. Water samples were collected from 10 sites on the mainstem of the South Prong of Spavinaw Creek and from 4 sites on tributaries during periods of low to moderate streamflow (less than 11 cubic feet per second). Water samples were collected from 4 wells and 10 springs located in the basin.
In 14 surface-water samples, nitrite plus nitrate concentrations ranged from 0.75 to 4.2 milligrams per liter as nitrogen (mg/L). Orthophosphorus concentrations ranged from 0 03 to O. 15 mg/L as phosphorus. Fecal coliform bacteria counts ranged from 61 to 1,400 colonies per 100 milliliters (col/lOO mL), with a median of 120 col/100 mL. Fecal streptococci bacteria counts ranged from 70 to greater than 2,000 col/100 mL with a median of 185 col/lOO mL. Analysis for selected metals collected at one surface-water sites indicates that concentrations were usually below the reporting limit.
Diel dissolved oxygen concentrations and temperatures were measured at an upstream and downstream site on the mainstem of the stream. At the upstream site, dissolved oxygen concentrations ranged from 7.2 to 83 mg/L and temperatures ranged from 15.5 to 17.0 C. Dissolved oxygen concentrations were higher and temperature values were lower at lhe upstream site, which is located close to two springs that produce all of the flow at that site.
Dissolved nitrite plus nitrate was present in all four wells sampled in the basin with concentrations ranging from 0.04 to 3.5 mg/L as nitrogen. Orthophosphorus was present in concentrations ranging from less than 0.01 to 0.07 mg/L as phosphorus. Volatile organic compound analyses in two wells indicate that toluene was present in both wells and chloroform was present in one well. All other volatile organic compounds were found to be below the reporting limits. Analysis for common constituents and selected metals indicated that fluoride concentrations in one well exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's primary maximum contamination levels for drinking water.
Analyses of water samples collected from springs indicate that nitrite plus nitrate concen- trations ranged from 0.43 to 3.9 mg/L as nitrogen. Dissolved ammonia plus organic nitrogen concentrations ranged from less than 0.20 to 0.64 mg/L as nitrogen. Dissolved ammonia plus organic nitrogen concentrations ranged from less than 0.20 to 0.64 mg/L at nitrogen. Orthophosphorus concentrations ranged from 0.02 to 0.09 mg/L as phosphorus. Fecal coliform bacteria counts ranged from less than 3 to more than 2,000 col/100 mL, with a median of 370 col/100 mL. Fecal streptococci bacteria counts ranged from less than 4 to greater than 2,000 col/100 mL with a median of 435 col/100 mL.
Streamflow in nine reaches of the mainstream increased an average of 20 percent. Six losing reaches were identified during the study, one located on the mainstem and the other five located on tributaries to the mainstem.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Water-quality conditions and streamflow gain and loss of the South Prong of Spavinaw Creek basin, Benton County, Arkansas