This report provides initial research results of a storm-water and baseflow sampling and analysis project conducted by the University of Delaware, College of Marine and Earth Studies and the Delaware Geological Survey. Baseflow samples were collected from four tributary watersheds of the Nanticoke River and one station on the Nanticoke River on 18 occasions from March 2003 to June 2004. Water samples were filtered in the field to separate dissolved nutrients for subsequent analysis, and separate samples were collected and returned to the laboratory for particulate nutrient determinations. On each sampling
date, temperature, conductivity, pH, and dissolved oxygen concentrations were determined at each sampling station. The U.S. Geological Survey made stream discharge measurements at each of these sites under a joint-funded agreement with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Geological Survey. Together, the
nutrient and discharge data were used to determine the total nutrient loads at five stations and unit loads (normalized to watershed area) at two of those stations on a quarterly and annual basis. Problems with watershed delineation and low quality discharge data limit these calculations for some watersheds. At the same five stations, storm water was collected during six storms from March 2003 to June 2004. Storm-water loadings of nutrients in each watershed were calculated from the concentrations of nutrients in water samples collected at fixed time intervals from the beginning of the storm-water discharge period until recession to baseflow. Measured storm loads were used as the basis for estimating loads from unsampled storms.
These data provide the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control with a more complete picture of the seasonal dependence of nutrient loading to streams in the Nanticoke River watershed and to Chesapeake Bay receiving waters. These may also be used to establish total maximum daily load goals.
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