Southeastern Section–55th Annual Meeting (23–24 March 2006)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 5:00 PM


KOENIG, Jason, Physics and Geology, Northern Kentucky University, Natural Science Center, Highland Heights, KY 41099 and BOATENG, Samuel, Physics and Geology, Northern Kentucky University, Natural Science Center, Highland Heights, KY 41099,

The meander loop of Woolper Creek in Boone County, Kentucky was straightened near its confluence with the Ohio River by a marina developer. The dredged sediments were dumped in a nearby hill. A retention pond was constructed to control the flow of sediments into the creek after the marina project had been abandoned. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of the channelization and the associated sediment dump on the water quality of the creek. The effectiveness of the retention pond also was evaluated. Weekly water samples were collected and tested for selected water quality parameters at four locations within the creek for a period of about 30 weeks. The locations were (1) far upstream of the retention pond (Ashby), (2) immediate downstream of the retention pond, (3) within the retention pond and (4) far downstream of the retention pond (Dock). Water quality parameters tested included electrical conductivity, pH, oxygen reduction potential (ORP), dissolved oxygen, phosphate, total suspended sediments (TSS), chlorophyll and nitrate. The impact on biota was determined by sampling benthic macroinvertebrates once every four weeks. With the exception of conductivity, there were no significant differences between the water quality parameters among the various sampling locations. The conductivity at the Downstream Retention Pond site was significantly higher than the Retention Pond. Conductivity is affected by dissolved solutes from mineral and sediment grains. Thus, more sediment may be getting into the downstream location from the retention pond. The effectiveness of the retention pond was in doubt based on the conductivity results alone. Also, the benthic macroinvertebrate sampling showed the retention pond to be devoid of organisms that thrive in high water quality environments. Overall, the far upstream site had high water quality organisms such as mayflies. The organisms at the immediate downstream and far downstream locations indicated a slight deterioration of water quality