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Effects of Environmental and Anthropogenic Factors on Water Quality in the Rock Creek Watershed

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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The need to understand the spatial and temporal distribution of pollutants within urban aquatic systems has increased in importance as surface water quality continues to degrade. Rock Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River, spans 33 miles originating in the agricultural and suburban areas of Maryland and continuing through the more urbanized District of Columbia, ultimately running into the Chesapeake Bay. The purpose of this study is to investigate environmental and anthropogenic factors that impact surface water quality in the Rock Creek watershed. Water quality samples were collected weekly from15 sites along Rock Creek for approximately four months. The samples were analyzed for physical and chemical parameters including turbidity, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Additionally, concentrations of E. coli and total coliforms were quantitatively assessed. Additional samples were collected following significant rain events, in order to assess the impact of precipitation events on the water quality.

Subject Categories:

  • Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology

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