Trace metals in surface water and stream sediments of Healy and Lignite Creek basins, Alaska

Water-Resources Investigations Report 83-4173




Water quality and streamflow in the Russian River basin during low-flow seasons (May to October), were studied for water years 1973-78 to document water-quality and streamflow conditions in the basin, and to determine the extent and cause of any water-quality impairment. The most important factors affecting surface-water quality and streamflow during the period of the study were wastewater discharges, their abatement beginning in 1975, and the drought during 1976 and 1977. Substantial decreases in fecal-coliform bacteria and nutrients occurred from 1975 through 1978, corresponding to regulations specifying no discharge of wastewater during the lowflow season. Generally, turbidity and nutrients were least during the 1977 lowflow season. However, specific conductance increased markedly during 1976 and 1977 in response to substantially decreased streamflow during the drought. Algal growth in the Russian River depends on the amount of nitrogen in the water and is not limited by the amount of phosphorus in the water. Cold water releases from Lake Mendocino seem to be important for maintaining downstream water temperatures at acceptable levels for survival of certain aquatic organisms, retarding aquatic community respiration, and preventing nuisance growths of photoplankton and periphyton. During August 1977, a diel study showed the Russian River was a heterotrophic system where photosynthetic production of oxygen was not sufficient to offset respiration. (USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
Trace metals in surface water and stream sediments of Healy and Lignite Creek basins, Alaska
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iv, 30 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.