Southeastern Section - 64th Annual Meeting (19–20 March 2015)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


JOVANELLY, Tamie J., CHILDRES, Hampton and FLEEMAN, Landon, Physics, Astronomy, Geology, Berry College, 2277 Martha Berry Hwy, Mount Berry, GA 30149,

Waterways on Berry College campus (34° 17’57.04” N, 85°12’07”W) empty into a larger watershed referred to as the North Georgia Coosa River Basin (NGCRB). A small tributary on campus, Big Dry Creek, is listed as a 303(d) impaired waterway under the Enivronmental Protection Agency 2010 watershed assessment.for fecal coliform. To illustrate the overall water quality in Big Dry Creek, and to confirm contamination, we tested for nine water quality parameters essential in calculating a Water Quality Index (WQI) value; a higher WQI number is indicative of better water quality. After nine-months of continual monitoring at four sample locations along two miles of river a baseline WQI was established. Overall, the average monthly water quality was deemed medium (50-70%) or bad (25-50%) . All of the fecal coliform tests were positive; those sample sites adjacent to cow pastures showed fecal coliform levels too numerous to count. Fecal coliform levels >100 resulted after rainfall events. This data will be used to encourage Berry College to increase buffer zones along the tributary where cattle are present, to deture the use of Big Dry Creek as a watering source for edible crops, and to reduce pollution in recreational waterways downstream, notably the Oostanula River.