The Importance of Specific Conductivity for Assessing Environmentally Impacted Streams
Wenner, David B.
Ruhlman, Melanie B.
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From over two years of quarterly monitoring in the Upper Oconee Watershed, three streams consistently had good to excellent water quality based on their biological index scores and two had poor water quality. Among all the physical and chemical measurements that were routinely made, specific conductivity best distinguished these two types of streams. The minimally impacted streams invariably had relatively low specific conductivities (~50mS/cm), whereas the two highly impacted streams had more variable and higher conductivity values. This observation was used to identify other polluted streams in the area and to trace pollution sources.