Water Quality and Chlorine Analysis

Water-quality data were collected to address two issues:

(1) the relative effects of KCP effluents effluents on receiving-stream water-quality conditions, and (2) the significance of chlorine in KCP effluents which discharge to Indian Creek and Blue River. Water quality parameters included: pH, conductivity, water temperature, alkalinity, hardness, dissolved oxygen, ammonia-N, total phosphorus, nitrate-N, sulfate, biochemical oxygen demand (5-day), turbidity, total suspended solids, and total residual chlorine. Concentrations of TRC were monitored in situ with a specially designed field-portable instrument.

In the Blue River, no significant differences were found between sites for any of the water-quality factors. In Indian Creek, only nitrate-N differed significantly among sites. Water-quality conditions in Indian Creek and the Blue River were reasonably similar and in Indian Creek, mean concentrations or values of many of the measured parameters tended to be greatest at INK 18.0, which is downstream of a POTW.

Total residual chlorine was detectable at most of the sites, at low levels, which indicates that this constituent has sources in the Blue River/Indian Creek watershed other than the KCP. The highest concentrations were consistently observed at INK 2.2 (0.01-0.05 mg/L), just upstream of the KCP.

Chlorine also was present in water exiting the KCP through Outfall 001. The concentration of TRC at the point of release was 0.39 mg/L, which is high enough to be toxic to fish and benthic invertebrates, but chlorine was not detected farther downstream.

Mass-loading computations were used to help evaluate the potential influence of releases of TRC from the KCP to Indian Creek and the Blue River. The KCP effluents (with large uncertainties) could account for much of the low, background levels of TRC found in Blue River between sampling sites, but not for much of the loading in Indian Creek.

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Last Modified: April 17, 2001