The Little River Watershed Assessment: Water Quality in a Rapidly Developing Suburban Atlanta Watershed
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This paper presents the results of the Little River watershed assessment that identified current water quality conditions in the watershed of a major tributary to Allatoona Lake, a heavily used reservoir in northern metropolitan Atlanta. Water quality impairment was found to be the result of both point and nonpoint sources. Biological monitoring showed fish communities to be in "fair" to "good" condition while benthic macroinvertebrate communities generally rated "poor". Water quality modeling indicated that standards for phosphorus loads entering the Little River embayment are likely being exceeded, and loads will continue to increase under current land use projections. The watershed protection plan focuses on eliminating point source impairment and on watershed based analyses, planning and zoning by the Cherokee County government for nonpoint source control. Plans are to add substantially to the water quality database before recommending specific measures to reduce nonpoint source impairment so that Cherokee County government can cost-effectively implement best management practices.