Water quality of streams in the Neshaminy Creek basin, Pennsylvania

Water Supply Paper 1999-O




The Neshaminy has carved a scenic route on its way to the Delaware River, thereby helping to increase the value of land. The unabated growth of nearby metropolitan areas and the multiplying needs for water and open space for water storage and recreation in southeastern Pennsylvania have become impelling forces that mark the Neshaminy valley watershed for continued development of its land and water resources. Toward this end the Neshaminy Valley Watershed Association, Inc., which came into existence June 13, 1956, is one of several organizations dedicated to land and water-resources development in the Neshaminy Creek basin. The principal objectives of the Neshaminy Valley Watershed Association are (1) to provide for future water-supply and recreation needs, (2) to safeguard against flood and drought damage, (3) to decrease stream pollution, (4) to preserve wildlife and natural beauty, (5) to reduce soil erosion and siltation, 96) to reforest marginal land, and (7) to improve and protect existing woodland. This study shows that there is a wide variance in water quality between the West Branch and the North Branch of the Neshaminy. However, the study shows no significant difference between the chemical composition of the Little Neshaminy Creek and the main stream before they come together at Rushland. Just beyond their confluence the main stream has drained more than half its total drainage area. The average flow of the stream at this location is about 85 percent of the average flow at Langhorne. The continued presence of game fish in most of Neshaminy Creek indicates a degree of water purity that characterizes this stream as suitable for recreation. However, during the summer and early fall, several small streams feeding the Neshaminy go dry. The diminished flow during these periods and during prolonged drought impairs stream quality by causing a greater concentration of dissolved solids in water. The relatively inferior water during low-flow periods, therefore, necessitates providing more water of good quality to reservoirs for emergency releases, not only to augment supply to users in needful downstream areas but also to improve stream quality by dilution.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Water quality of streams in the Neshaminy Creek basin, Pennsylvania
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Government Printing Office
Contributing office(s):
Pennsylvania Water Science Center
iv, 33 p. :illus. ;24 cm.