Assesment [sic] of water quality parameters in the West Fork of the White River in Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana

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Asbaghi, Navid
Godish, Thad
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management
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Water quality parameters including ammonia, nitrate+nitrite, phosphate, total suspended solids, Escherichia coli, and dissolved oxygen were statistically evaluated from sampling data collected by the Bureau of Water Quality (City of Muncie, Indiana) at five sampling locations in Delaware County over a five-year period (2002-2006). These data were also compared with water quality standards/guidelines to determine how sample values compared to acceptable levels of these parameters. Friedman's non-parametric test was used to study the differences between sites and seasons. Spearman's Rank Correlation was used to study the correlations between water quality parameters at each sampling site. Significant differences were observed for individual parameters when evaluated relative to sampling location based on pooled monthly collected data as well as data evaluated on a seasonal basis. These differences indicated the fact that different sources were responsible for observed concentrations at a particular location and that seasonal phenomenon such as precipitation, discharge and temperature also affected sample concentrations at individual sampling locations. Most notable were differences in geometric mean concentrations of ammonia, nitrate+nitrite, phosphate and E. coli upstream and downstream of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), with highest concentrations downstream, indicating the significant impact of the WWTP on water quality in the White River. Significant correlations observed among some study parameters suggested that sample concentrations may have been affected by similar sources. In comparison to water quality standards, concentrations of ammonia, nitrate+nitrite, phosphate, and E. coli were at unacceptable levels at most sampling locations.