Model Evaluation of Potential Impacts of On-Site Wastewater Systems on Phosphorus in Turkey Creek Watershed
- Mengistu Geza *a,
- John E. McCraya and
- Kyle E. Murrayb
Nutrient loading to surface water systems has traditionally been associated with agricultural sources. Sources such as on-site wastewater systems (OWS) may be of concern especially in rural, nonagricultural watersheds. The impact of various point and nonpoint sources including OWS in Turkey Creek Watershed was evaluated using the Watershed Analysis Risk Management Framework, which was calibrated using 10 yr of observed stream flow and total P concentrations. Doubling the population in the watershed or OWS septic tank effluent P concentration increased mean stream total P concentration by a factor of 1.05. Converting all the OWS to a conventional sewer system with a removal efficiency of 93% at the wastewater treatment plant increased the mean total P concentration at the watershed outlet by a factor of 1.26. Reducing the soil adsorption capacity by 50% increased the mean stream total P concentration by a factor of 3.2. Doubling the initial P concentration increased the mean stream total P concentration by a factor of 1.96. Stream flow and sediment transport also substantially affected stream P concentration. The results suggest that OWS contribution to stream P in this watershed is minimal compared with other factors within the simulated time frame of 10 yr.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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