Honors College Thesis


Bruce Starker Arts Park Water Quality Testing to Determine Source of Algal Growth in Dunawi Creek and Evaluate Treatment Efficiency of Grass Swale Public Deposited

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  • Urban stormwater runoff contains pollutants that have a detrimental effect on pond water quality and watershed water quality. Stormwater best management practices (BMPs), such as a constructed wetland, can treat these pollutants through processes like infiltration, adsorption, and plant uptake. It is hypothesized that the surface-runoff fed pond at Bruce Starker Arts Park in Corvallis, Oregon is negatively impacting the water quality of downstream Dunawi Creek by increasing the concentrations of several contaminants, specifically E. coli and nutrients. Secondly, that the current grass swale linking the pond and the creek is not an effective best management practice (BMP) for treating contaminated surface runoff from the pond and contributing to downstream algal blooms. Grab samples taken during two winter and spring storm events were used to evaluate water quality during high-runoff events. During each event, five locations were sampled: in the pond, in the grass channel, at the confluence of the channel and the creek, upstream of the confluence, and downstream of the confluence. The data shows E. coli levels increasing by 76 MPN from the upstream site to the downstream site. This suggests that the grassy channel is not treating bacteria in pond effluent. Although, high levels of nutrients are observed in the pond they do not increase nutrient levels in Dunawi Creek from the upstream location to the downstream location.
  • Key Words: stormwater, runoff, Bruce Starker Arts Park, water quality, algal blooms
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