Watershed group monitoring programs: an investigation of nitrate contamination at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia
Wenner, David B.
MetadataShow full item record
On April 3, 2004, the Upper Oconee Watershed Network sponsored a community wide stream monitoring event in the Athens Clarke County area. As part of this event, the nitrate concentrations of 46 samples were measured. Although most samples had low values, averaging about 1.5 mg/L (NO3-N), one sample from the State Botanical Garden of Georgia was anomalously high, in excess of 5.5 mg/L. Follow up investigations of the area revealed that nearby streams and springs were also high. From the pattern of contaminated streams, it appears that the groundwaters underlying an area of about 60 acres may be contaminated. Several springs in the area had nitrate levels >25 mg/L (NO3-N), more than twice the standard established by the state EPD and federal EPA for drinking water. A major source of this contamination appears to originate from a nearby swine farm. Other possible sources include fertilizer and septic systems at the Botanical Garden and a nearby poultry farm.