Water Quality in Richard B. Russell and J. Strom Thurmond Lakes: Interim Report for the Period 1997-1998
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER
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After completion of phase III of the Richard B. Russell Pumped Storage Testing and Monitoring studies an interim period of water quality studies was continued to provide additional baseline information and to maintain continuity in the water quality database. These studies continued through 1997 and 1998 and are reported here. Phase III results detailed the effect of simulated commercial operation of pumped storage on Richard B. Russell Lake RBR and J. Strom Thurmond Lake JST in terms of water quality and fisheries habitat. Although there were observable changes in RBR and JST as a result of pumped storage, the subsequent comparisons of adjacent years of conventional operation without pumped storage were important for identification of additional trends in water quality and fisheries habitat. The interim studies continued in a similar manner to baseline studies during the phase III period. As a result, it was shown that although the years 1996-1998 were similar in many respects, weather for example, and the resulting thermal conditions were similar to many years on these lakes, increased dissolved oxygen demand greatly affected the extent of habitat as defined by the habitat suitability index. During 1997, in the absence of pumped storage, there was greatly diminished habitat in JST in comparison to other years and, in particular, to the phase III operational year - 1996. Although 1998 conditions were not as severe, they also had greatly diminished habitat in JST. Habitat RBR was maintained through the operation of an oxygenation system in the forebay of RBR. The observations of the two interim years of study show extremes of variation in water quality in these lakes in the absence of pumped storage. The studies provide a valuable source of information for prediction and management of these systems in the future.
- Water Pollution and Control