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Changes in Water Quality of Michigan Streams Near Urban Areas, 1973-84

U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4035
Lansing, Michigan 1987

By: Holtschlag, D.J.


Monthly water quality monitoring of streams was begun by Michigan Department of Natural Resources in 1973 to: (1) determine temporal and spatial variability, (2) detect long-term trends, and (3) describe changes in water quality near urban areas. A statistical analysis and summary of data collected from 1973 through 1984 is presented. Concentrations and discharges of nine commonly measured water quality constituents and specific conductance are examined. Twenty-three sites on inland streams (streams draining basins wholly within Michigan) and 20 sites on Detroit River are discussed. The changes in water quality in 9 rivers near 12 urban areas in Michigan's southern Lower Peninsula and the relation between streamflow and selected water quality characteristics, including phosphorus, chloride, sulfate, nitrogen, specific conductance, and solid residues are described. Results show that the median dissolved solids concentration in Clinton River downstream from Pontiac exceed Michigan's 1986 stream water quality standard. Among inland streams, constituent concentrations and discharges generally were greatest in Saginaw River and least in Grand River upstream from Jackson. Greatest changes in constituent discharges occurred in the Detroit River near the Detroit area; the least occurred in the Chippewa River near Mount Pleasant. Generally, higher streamflows were associated with lower concentrations. Changes in streamflow and changes in constituent concentrations near urban areas were correlated in 57% of the 120 analyses. Generally, higher changes in streamflow were associated with lower changes in concentrations. (Lantz-PTT)

RECORD ID: 8909193

F&G CODE: 05b; 04c; 07c

Holtschlag, D.J., 1987, Changes in water quality of Michigan streams near urban areas, 1973-84: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4035, 1 20 p.

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