Evaluation of phosphate, and escherichia coli concentrations during a spring storm in the North Oconee River, Athens, Georgia
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Samples were taken at two sites on the North Oconee River in Athens, Georgia, during a storm event of almost 3 inches, to evaluate changes in soluble reactive phosphorous (SRP) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) concentrations. The objective of the study was to assess the effects on these constituents from storm water runoff and to measure the impact from a waste water treatment plant. While the down stream site generally had higher concentrations of phosphate, both sites showed a spike in SRP approximately 12 hours after the beginning of the storm. This increase most likely reflected the first flush of storm water runoff. Later during the storm, as discharge peaked, the SRP at both sites decreased, probably due to dilution. The storm event also produced an increase in E. coli levels at both sites about 23 hours into the storm. However, only the down stream site showed a marked increased E. coli during peak discharge. This pattern may be explained by several causes, which this study cannot resolve.