National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program - South Platte River Basin
Nutrients in Wastewater Discharges
PAST SURFACE-WATER ACTIVITIES
Map and Data for This
To quantify the contribution from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP)
to nutrient loads downstream of WWTP's and to provide a snapshot of
the movement of nutrients through the surface-water system.
Water was collected and analyzed for nutrients at sites immediately
upstream and downstream from 20 WWTP's, at the mouths of major tributaries,
and along the main stem South Platte River. Samples were collected
along the main stem from below Chatfield to North Platte, Nebraska.
April 1994 and January 1995
- Targeted physical and chemical data:
Flow, specific conductance (salinity), temperature and nutrients
- Selected Results:
Treated wastewater effluent can account for as much as 100 percent
of streamflow downstream from Denver and was the primary source of
nitrate, ammonia, and phosphorus to Front Range streams.
Phosphorus concentrations in the South Platte River from Denver to
Balzac, Colorado, a 150 mile length of river were higher than generally
accepted limits for control of eutrophication (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1986,
Quality criteria for use, 1986: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Report
440 14-86-001, [variously paged]. )