Water quality of the Neuse River, North Carolina : variability, pollution loads, and long-term trends

Water-Resources Investigations Report 80-36



A water-quality study of the Neuse River, N.C., based on data collected during 1956-77 at the U.S. Geological Survey stations at Clayton and Kinston, employs statistical trend analysis techniques that provide a framework for river quality assessment. Overall, water-quality of the Neuse River is satisfactory for most uses. At Clayton, fecal coliform bacteria and nutrient levels are high, but algae and total-organic-carbon data indicate water-quality improvement in recent years, due probably to a new wastewater treatment plant located downstream from Raleigh, N.C. Pollution was determined by subtracting estimated natural loads of constituents from measured total loads. Pollution makes up approximately 50% of the total dissolved material transported by the Neuse. Two different data transformation methods allowed trends to be identified in constituent concentrations. The methods recomputed the concentrations as if they were determined at a constant discharge over the period of record. Although little change since 1956 can be seen in most constituents, large changes in some constituents, such as increases in potassium and sulfate, indicate that the water quality of the Neuse River has noticeably deteriorated. Increases in sulfate are probably largely due to increased long-term inputs of sulfur compounds from airborne pollutants. (USGS)

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water quality of the Neuse River, North Carolina : variability, pollution loads, and long-term trends
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 80-36
DOI 10.3133/wri8036
Edition -
Year Published 1980
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
Contributing office(s) South Atlantic Water Science Center
Description viii, 88 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.
Country United States
State North Carolina
Other Geospatial Neuse River
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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