Osborne, Bryson, Environmental Science and Studies, Juniata College, 1700 Moore St, Huntingdon, PA, 16652, OSBORBM20@juniata.edu; Adhikari, Kushal, Environmental Engineering, Juniata College, 1700 Moore St, Huntingdon, PA, 16652, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Almost a third of Pennsylvania (PA) streams are considered impaired and this is more prevalent in streams passing through urban/developed areas. This study aims to evaluate the overall stream health of Muddy Run, a second-order stream in Central PA, with a primarily urban catchment. The stream passes through distinct developed land uses and offers a unique feature with almost a mile of its length buried underground through a culverted section until it discharges into the Juniata River.
Several physiochemical properties including flow, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, hardness, specific conductivity, total dissolved solids, and nutrients were evaluated at four sampling sites over a five-week period to assess both spatial and temporal variations. A two-way ANOVA test along with post hoc t-tests were used to determine statistical differences throughout both sampling weeks and sampling sites.
Significantly higher nutrient concentrations and lower DO levels (p<.05) were observed as the stream emerged from underground indicating a point source discharge of nutrients in the creek. TDS and conductivity values were observed to be higher at locations near impervious surfaces with an indication of runoff from streets and parking areas. Differences across sampling weeks were largely driven by storm events. Continuous monitoring and an improved understanding of the water quality will help the local community and authorities to make informed decisions for improving the health of local watersheds and managing urban runoff.
Water quality, Urban runoff, physio-chemical, nutrients