Northeastern Section - 53rd Annual Meeting - 2018

Paper No. 22-3
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


TURNBACH, Michelle, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA 17870; Earth and Environmental Sciences, Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, SELINSGROVE, PA 17870-1164 and LACHHAB, Ahmed, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA 17870

Water quality index (WQI) uses many weighted, measurable parameters to give one number that reflects how good the water is. WQI is a standard approach to evaluate and compare results of different streams because of its concise form. The correct WQI expression for a specific stream can be challenging and requires a good stream water quality knowledge. In this study, five Penns Creek headwater streams located in the Bald Eagle State Forrest, PA were selected and assessed with five different Water Quality Indices and a new specific WQI expression was identified and implemented. The water quality data used for the five WQI and the specific WQI expressions was collected from June 2015 to July 2017. Using these five different WQI expressions, revealed a range of values from 80 to 100 making these streams ranked between good and excellent quality. Since the WQI is meant for drinking water, the normalization factors of some parameters such as pH, temperature, and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), are excessively lowered. Also, due to the characteristics of the natural headwater streams, some parameters do not really need to be used. Using this experimental site that is known to have a good water quality, with little to no human impact, the WQI has been rearranged taking in consideration the following steps: 1) the range of the pH has been expanded to more acidic and basic water 2) the range of temperature lowered for colder water 3) excess parameters, like BOD5 and other ion concentration were removed.