Relating pollutant and water quality parameters to landuse in a subwatershed in the Choptank River watershed
Nino de Guzman, Gabriela Tejeda
Hapeman, Cathleen J
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Agriculture and animal feeding operations have been implicated as sources of water pollution along the Choptank River, an estuary and tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. This survey examined a subwatershed within the Choptank River watershed for impacts of a poultry facility on its adjacent surface water. Water and sediment samples were collected May - October 2009 under mostly baseflow conditions and analyzed for antibiotics, nutrients, heavy metals, and selected bacteria. Of the antibiotics recovered, no significant difference was observed spatially, but a significant difference emerged between spring and fall/winter. For nutrients, the greatest phosphorus concentrations were at the subwatershed outlet (4) and at two branches not containing the poultry house (3 and 5); nitrogen concentrations at sites 2 and 5 were as high as site 4. Arsenic concentrations at 2 were lower than both the low-agriculture (control) site and a site neighboring 3. Bacterial counts in water and sediment remained fairly constant throughout the sampling regime.