Date of Award

Fall 1995

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Policy Studies - (M.S.)

Department

Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Nancy L. Jackson

Second Advisor

Norbert Elliot

Third Advisor

Richard B. Trattner

Abstract

For the past two decades, water quality of both natural and man-made lakes has been a major environmental concern. Numerous studies suggest that land use patterns and/or storm water runoff are major factors in nutrient loading and bacterial contamination of freshwater lakes. In 1986, the Property Owners Association at Lake Latonka in Jackson Center, Pa., installed three sediment control structures in an attempt to reduce the amount of nonpoint-source pollution entering the lake. The Association installed a fourth structure in 1988. It has yet to be determined if any improvement in the water quality has occurred due to the control structures or to the possible changes in the agricultural activities surrounding the development.

From nine years of water quality monitoring data acquired from the consulting firm hired by the Property Owners Association, the percent reduction was determined by calculating the difference between the influx and outflow, dividing by the influx and multiplying by 100. The percent reduction was determined for each of the five water quality parameters (fecal coliform bacteria, ammonia, nitrate, phosphate and total solids). The mean percent reduction over the nine year monitoring period for each Sediment Control Structure and four "control" streams (Manito, Mohican, Park and Apache) were compared for each parameter. The total inorganic nitrogen and phosphate was also determined to provide a basis of comparison to other wetland systems recieving agricultural runoff.

Throughout the nine year monitoring period, there was a gradual improvement in the water quality entering the lake. All four sediment control structures demonstrated varying abilities to reduce coliform bacteria, nitrate, phosphate and suspended sediment. The structures were not able to reduce ammonia concentrations, most likely due to vegetative decay within the retention basins.

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