Phosphorus and Sediment in Headwater Streams Draining Poultry Operations in the Upper Etowah River Basin, Georgia
Jackson, C. Rhett
Radcliffe, David E.
Risse, L. Mark
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A 1.5-year monitoring program was initiated in January 2005 to support a University of Georgia study aimed at evaluating nutrient trading opportunities for phosphorus (P) in the upper Etowah River basin in Georgia. Twelve first-order streams were instrumented with hydrologic monitoring equipment and automated samplers. Nine streams drain agricultural (AG) watersheds predominated by poultry operations but different in terms of land use history, best management practices, soil test P (STP) concentrations, and other factors. Three streams drain forested (FORS) watersheds. The monitoring program consisted of biweekly grab sampling coupled with stormchasing. From preliminary results, median low-flow and stormflow concentrations of total P (TP) in astreams were 0-1 and 1-3 orders of magnitude greater, respectively, than in FORS streams. The 3 highest median stormflow TP concentrations in AG streams were observed where 3 of the 4 highest STP concentrations were observed. Median low-flow total suspended solids (TSS) concentrations in AG streams were 0-1 order of magnitude greater than in forested streams. Median stormflow concentrations of TSS between the two land use types were within the same order of magnitude. Streamflow, STP, event mean concentrations, and other variables may be important for estimating P loads from agricultural watersheds monitored for the study.