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Wallkill River Basin, northern New Jersey

Wallkill River Basin, northern New Jersey




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Determination of Total Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Loads to selected River Systems in New Jersey

Project Title: NJ146-Determination of Total Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Loads to selected River Systems in New Jersey
Project Number: 2454AAG
Project Chief:
Project Start Date: April 1994
Project End Date: April 2009

Project Objectives

The purpose of the Non-point Source (NPS) Storm-Monitoring Study, a multi-year surface water quality investigation by the USGS and NJDEP, is to estimate the NPS loads of nutrients, bacteria, and suspended solids from various land use areas in selected river systems throughout New Jersey. The study objectives are to

  1. document the current water quality before NPS and storm water management strategies are initiated,
  2. establish automatic sampler protocols for monitoring in-stream water quality during storm-flow (developed during the Toms River study), and
  3. develop a water quality model to estimate unit NPS loads of selected constituents associated with different land-uses in selected watersheds throughout New Jersey.

Statement of Problem

With the recent heavy focus on the Clean Water Act, Watershed planning, and the establishment of TMDL's for all New Jersey Streams there is a need for better understanding of non-point source loadings. Elevated levels of bacteria, nutrients, and suspended sediments exceeding MCLs is of concern for a number of New Jersey streams. Uncontrolled, non-point (NPS) pollution from increasing commerical and residential land development throughout the State is of special concern. For effective placement of appropriate best management practices (BMPs) and the establishment of TMDLs, water-resource managers at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) need to understand how land development affects surface-water quality.

Strategy and Approach

Using existing land use distribution and drainage area data with a geographic information system, monitoring sites having different and nearly-homogeneous land use will be selected and monitored within selected watersheds. Water quality, stage, and dischargbe data will be collected periodically at the sites during base and high (storm) flows in each season over a several year period. Land-use loads and flow-duration curves will be developed from the data. Water-quality relations versus land-use will be developed and verified to provide tools that can be used to determine NPS constituent loads from drainage areas of mixed land use.

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