Environmental

Oral

395122 - Evaluation of sampling practices for assessing spatial variation in water quality in a eutrophic urbanized watershed

Monday, June 4
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Lakeshore B
Co-Authors: John Abbatangelo, Bronx – Manhattan College; John Butler, Bronx – Friends of Van Cortlandt Park; Alex Byrne, Bronx – Friends of Van Cortlandt Park

Different sampling practices such as location selection or frequency can alter decisions made regarding overall water quality. In this work, methods to assess spatial variability and sampling frequency were used with the goal of determining if sample data selected would result in different waterbody classifications for nutrients and dissolved oxygen. A year-long study was conducted in an urbanized watershed listed as impaired by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation due to elevated phosphorus and nitrogen, and, during summer months, low dissolved oxygen. Water samples were collected weekly at five sites (two stream locations and three lake locations) and analyzed for different water quality parameters. Probability distributions were fit to the entire dataset to determine the likelihood of meeting certain proposed ecological thresholds for biological community impairment for nutrients and the current standard for dissolved oxygen. Results show that throughout the entire year the probability of not meeting the dissolved oxygen criteria differs by as much as 18% between the stream locations and 29% between the lake locations, suggesting that sample location will affect waterbody classifications. The dataset was then deconstructed into a lower frequency dataset to mimic sampling strategies conducted on a monthly basis to assess the effect of sampling frequency on waterbody classifications. Results show that there are no statistically significant differences in the distributions between the higher frequency datasets and lower frequency datasets, indicating that weekly or monthly sampling will not result in differences in meeting certain criteria. Results of this work can be used to inform the design of future water quality monitoring studies through the proper allocation of resources provided during the environmental management phase. Better sampling designs may include changes in parameters monitored so that the appropriate scope of testing can be performed.

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395122 - Evaluation of sampling practices for assessing spatial variation in water quality in a eutrophic urbanized watershed



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