Trends were determined in flow-adjusted values of selected water-quality characteristics measured year-round during water years 1998-2007 (October 1, 1997, through September 30, 2007) at 70 stations on New Jersey streams. Water-quality characteristics included in the analysis are dissolved oxygen, pH, total dissolved solids, total phosphorus, total organic nitrogen plus ammonia, and dissolved nitrate plus nitrite. In addition, trend tests also were conducted on measurements of dissolved oxygen made only during the growing season, April to September. Nearly all the water-quality data analyzed were collected by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Geological Survey as part of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Ambient Surface-Water Quality Monitoring Network.
Monotonic trends in flow-adjusted values of water quality were determined by use of procedures in the ESTREND computer program. A 0.05 level of significance was selected to indicate a trend. Results of tests were not reported if there were an insufficient number of measurements or insufficient number of detected concentrations, or if the results of the tests were affected by a change in data-collection methods.
Trends in values of dissolved oxygen, pH, and total dissolved solids were identified using the Seasonal Kendall test. Trends or no trends in year-round concentrations of dissolved oxygen were determined for 66 stations; decreases at 4 stations and increases at 0 stations were identified. Trends or no trends in growing-season concentrations of dissolved oxygen were determined for 65 stations; decreases at 4 stations and increases at 4 stations were identified. Tests of pH values determined trends or no trends at 26 stations; decreases at 2 stations and increases at 3 stations were identified. Trends or no trends in total dissolved solids were reported for all 70 stations; decreases at 0 stations and increases at 24 stations were identified.
Trends in total phosphorus, total organic nitrogen plus ammonia, and dissolved nitrate plus nitrite were identified by use of Tobit regression. Two sets of trend tests were conducted-one set with all measurements and a second set with all measurements except the most extreme outlier if one could be identified. The result of the test with all measurements is reported if the results of the two tests are equivalent. The result of the test without the outlier is reported if the results of the two tests are not equivalent.
Trends or no trends in total phosphorus were determined for 69 stations. Decreases at 12 stations and increases at 5 stations were identified. Of the five stations on the Delaware River included in this study, decreases in concentration were identified at four.
Trends or no trends in total organic nitrogen plus ammonia were determined for 69 stations. Decreases and increases in concentrations were identified at six and nine stations, respectively.
Trends or no trends in dissolved nitrate plus nitrite were determined for 66 stations. Decreases and increases in concentration were identified at 4 and 19 stations, respectively.