DOES ROAD-CULVERT CONSTRUCTION IN SUMMER PROTECT LOCAL WATER QUALITY IN SMALL STREAMS OF THE MUSKINGHAM RIVER BASIN?
Advanced notice of a road-culvert replacement project prompted a bioassessment and water-quality study of a 3rd-order stream in rural north-central Ohio. Since 2009, surveys by various undergraduate classes immediately downstream of the Canfield Preserve found good-to-excellent stream quality (CIV=20-30) using the Ohio Stream Quality Monitoring assessment (ohiodnr.gov). In 2018, we measured water-quality parameters (e.g. turbidity, total nitrate, phosphorus) and sampled benthic macroinvertebrates (BMI) from June 1 to October 30. The culvert tributary was dry throughout construction. A second tributary remained wet. Periods of heavier precipitation in June and September were a major driver of short-term changes in water-quality. Tributary nutrient concentrations differed consistently from those in the larger stream. BMI above and below the culvert tributary, before and after construction, showed no difference in species richness or quality. The larger bioassessment surveys done by classes and volunteers in the reach below the main study area showed no change post-construction. Temporal and spatial differences in nutrient concentrations may be due to basin size and local land-use. Summer scheduling of culvert construction may be fortunate for this and other small Ohio streams as it seems to minimize impacts on downstream water-quality.
Patricia A. Saunders (Primary Presenter/Author), Ashland University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Jenna Dolhi Binder (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Ashland University, email@example.com;
Alexis Flagg (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Ashland University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Shelby Reutter (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Ashland University, email@example.com;