Comparing Water Quality Along a Gradient of Urbanization
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Urbanization has a major impact on water quality in the form of point and non-point source pollution from construction and industrial sites, roadways, lawns, and other human-made landscapes. Georgia is currently experiencing urbanization based upon population growth. The Piedmont Province is in transition from a predominantly rural area to an urban/industrial complex. Atlanta, Athens and other urban centers have a major influence on urban development in many areas of the rural piedmont. A gradient of development in Madison County, Georgia was chosen to demonstrate differences in water quality from a completely developed area to an extremely rural area. The outflow points of six watersheds have been chosen for the water quality comparison. Preliminary results indicate that water quality, in the form of chemical content, declines in relation to the degree of urbanization.