Monday, August 8, 2016

Delaware River Basin Commission Report Shows Reduction In Nutrient Pollution

The Delaware River Basin Commission Monday released its Lower Delaware River Special Protection Waters Assessment of Measurable Changes to Existing Water Quality report which found a reduction in nutrient pollution at most monitoring sites, and no measurable change in other parameters at 17 of 20 testing points.
Chloride was one of the few parameters where a measurable change did occur at several locations, but the monitored results remained well below levels that would impact the aquatic environment.  This upward trend, which is not unique to the Delaware River, is likely caused by winter road salting in the watershed.
The report compares baseline water quality data initially collected from 2000-2004 to the assessment period of 2009-2011.
The general water quality parameters tested include alkalinity, hardness, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, dissolved and suspended solids, all nutrient forms (ammonia, nitrate + nitrite, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and orthophosphate), and 2 of 3 tested bacteria parameters (Enterococcus and Fecal coliforms).
Extensive monitoring was conducted and water quality data were evaluated at 24 sites located on the Delaware River and tributaries in a 76-mile stretch of the river between Portland, Pa./Columbia, N.J. and Trenton, N.J.
“This assessment examines whether changes to existing water quality in this section of the river have occurred, and we are pleased to announce that, for most water quality parameters at most locations, there were no measurable changes to existing water quality,” said DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini. “In fact, many tests revealed water quality improvements.”
DRBC noted that nutrients were one of the water quality parameters found to show improvement at most sites; this is good news, as these results appear to buck the national trend of nutrient degradation of water bodies.
“The Commission’s Special Protection Waters, or SPW, program is designed to prevent degradation where existing water quality is better than the established water quality standards through management and control of wastewater discharges along with reporting requirements,” said Tambini. “This assessment demonstrates that DRBC’s SPW program is working and plays an important and positive role in protecting water quality in the Delaware River Basin.”
DRBC’s Special Protection Waters Program covers the entire 197-mile non-tidal Delaware River from Hancock, N.Y. to Trenton, N.J. The SPW program aims to keep clean waters clean.
In practice, the goal is to achieve no measurable change in existing water quality of SPW waters, except towards natural conditions.
This is accomplished by taking a watershed approach, looking at the drainage area of the designated waters and considering impacts of various potential pollutant loadings, such as discharges from wastewater treatment plants.
Monitoring is required to determine if measurable change is occurring at designated sites where existing water quality has been defined. The DRBC’s SPW regulations establish an anti-degradation policy on one of the longest stretches of any river in the nation.
The complete assessment report, interactive map, and additional SPW information are available on the Commission’s Assessment of Measurable Changes To Existing Water Quality webpage.
Related Links:
Related Stories:
Susquehanna River Commission Report Shows 9% Of Watersheds Are Stressed, Critical
CBF-PA: PA State Budget Lacks Funding to Reach Clean Water Goals

Op-Ed: Here’s How PA Can Get Smarter About Cleaning Up Our Rivers & Streams

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner