Appraisal of water-quality conditions, lower Black River, Windsor County, Vermont

Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-4116




Six hydroelectric power dams are planned along a 22-mile reach of the lower Black River in southeastern Windsor County, Vermont. Data were collected at 10 stations, during water years 1977-81, to appraise quality conditions before construction. Average specific conductance of Black River is 101 micromhos indicating low concentrations of dissolved solids. Concentrations of common constituents and minor elements were generally low and within safe levels for aquatic life. Near-saturated dissolved oxygen concentrations and relatively low mean total organic carbon concentrations indicate little oxygen-consuming substances in Black River. Mean total nitrogen concentrations ranged from 0.31 mg/L (milligrams per liter) to 0.61 mg/L. The highest concentrations were most likely due to secondary waste discharges entering the river. Nitrate was the primary form of inorganic nitrogen, mean concentrations ranged from 0.13 to 0.27 mg/L. Concentrations seem high enough to promote excessive algal growth in the proposed Hawks Mountain Reservoir. Mean concentrations of total phosphorus ranged from 0.014 to 0.112 mg/L as P. Maximum concentrations at all stations generally exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggested levels for water entering lakes and reservoirs. Mean orthophosphorus concentrations ranged from 0.005 to 0.029 mg/L, suggesting a potential for nuisance algal conditions to develop in the proposed reservoir. Mean algal growth potential concentrations ranged from 1.3 to 8.8 mg/L, falling within the moderately high to high productivity range. No pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls were detected. (USGS)

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Appraisal of water-quality conditions, lower Black River, Windsor County, Vermont
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
61 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.