In 1998, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Geological Survey began a long-term monitoring program to evaluate the water quality of most watersheds in Michigan. Major goals of this Water-Chemistry Monitoring Program were to identify streams exceeding or not meeting State or Federal water-quality standards and to assess if constituent concentrations reflecting water quality in these streams were increasing or decreasing over time. As part of this program, water-quality data collected from 1998 to 2005 were analyzed to identify potential trends. Sixteen water-quality constituents were analyzed at 31 sites across Michigan, 28 of which had sufficient data to analyze for trends. Trend analysis on the various water-quality data was done using the uncensored Seasonal Kendall test within the computer program ESTREND. The most prevalent trend detected throughout the state was for chloride. Chloride trends were detected at 8 of the 28 sites; trends at 7 sites were increasing and the trend at 1 site was decreasing. Although no trends were detected for various nitrogen species or phosphorus, these constituents were detected at levels greater than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommendations for nutrients in water. The results of the trend analysis will help to establish a baseline to evaluate future changes in water quality in Michigan streams.
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USGS Numbered Series
Analysis of Water-Quality Trends for Selected Streams in the Water Chemistry Monitoring Program, Michigan, 1998-2005