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A snapshot evaluation of stream environmental quality in the Little Conestoga Creek basin, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Water-Resources Investigations Report 98-4173

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Abstract

Many Lancaster County residents are interested in stream monitoring and habitat restoration to maintain or improve stream water quality and to keep contaminants from reaching ground water used to supply drinking water. To promote resident involvement and environmental stewardship, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (ACB) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) designed this “snapshot” study of water quality and aquatic-insect communities in the Little Conestoga Creek Basin. Citizen-based restoration programs can improve water quality at a local level; such efforts will ultimately improve the ecological integrity of the Lower Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Little Conestoga Creek Basin was studied for several reasons. It was felt the project should benefit Lancaster County residents because funding was provided by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection funds generated in Lancaster County. The small drainage area size, 65.5 mi2 (square miles), allowed resident involvement in the necessary training and the snapshot sampling plan. Also, a previous study within south-central Pennsylvania reported the highest nutrient yields entering the Susquehanna River are contributed by the Conestoga River and its tributary subbasins, and the Basin’s location within the Conestoga River watershed made it a potential contributor of high nutrient loads. However, few data had been collected in this Basin to characterize the water quality and aquatic-insect populations. Ongoing studies by a “stream team” from Lancaster County Academy and by students and staff at Millersville University did not fully document the level of stream impairment throughout the Basin.

Suggested Citation

Loper, C.A., Davis, R.C., 1998, A snapshot evaluation of stream environmental quality in the Little Conestoga Creek basin, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 1998–4173, 7 p., https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/wri984173.

Table of Contents

  • Why Study The Little Conestoga Creek?
  • What are the Basin's Known Characteristics?
  • How Was the Study Conducted?
  • What Quality-Assurance Measures Were Used?
  • How Were the Data Analyzed?
  • Was Poor Water Quality Found In Any Part of the Basin?
  • What Do Aquatic Insect Communities Tell Us About Stream Environmental Quality?
  • What Were the Conclusions From This Study?
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
A snapshot evaluation of stream environmental quality in the Little Conestoga Creek basin, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
98-4173
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Pennsylvania Water Science Center
Description:
8 p.