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  Surface Water and Ecology - Water Quality and Flow  
   
 

 

 

Cycle I high phase sampling for the WMIC NAWQA occurred at 11 sites between 1993 and 1996. Cycle I low intensity sampling occurred at 3 sites from 1996 to 2001. For water-quality data, see our Data page. Cycle I (1993-95) water-quality data at the 11 fixed sites was summarized in two reports: Pesticides in Stream of the WMIC Drainages FS-107-96 and Surface-Water Quality of the Fixed Sites USGS WRIR 97-4208.

In the second cycle of NAWQA, the WMIC study unit built upon its initial assessment of water-quality conditions and increased its investigation of long-term trends and factors that affect water quality on a regional scale. To accomplish this, 4 (Popple River, Duck Creek, Lincoln Creek and Milwaukee River) of the original 11 Cycle I fixed sites were resampled. Samples were collected on a fixed interval (12-30 samples per year) from the 2002 through 2004 water years.

1 - Reference Site - Popple River near Fence, WI 04063700 drains 139 square miles of permeable sand and gravel surficial deposits of extensive forested lands (61%) and forested wetlands (35%) in the northwestern portion of the study unit. This is a reference site with very little human impact in the basin. The Popple River has been designated a scenic and wild river. This tannin stained river is slow moving except in areas where bedrock outcrops create riffles and waterfalls. The Popple River is part of the U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologic Benchmark network. The Hydrologic Benchmark Network was established in 1963 to provide long-term measurements of flow and water quality in areas minimally affected by human activities. Samples collected were nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, chloride, sulfate, triazine pesticides (first year only) and suspended sediment.

 

Click for larger photo of Popple River

2 - Agriculture Indicator site -- Duck Creek at Seminary Road near Oneida, WI, 04072050 drains 95 square miles of clayey surficial deposits of agricultural lands (89%). Agriculture in the Duck Creek watershed is primarily forage and row crops in support of dairy farming. Duck Creek is a turbid, slow moving stream. Most of the land in the Duck Creek drainage basin is within the Reservation of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. The area is immediately outside the city of Green Bay which is sprawling into the Reservation. Suburbanization is a major concern in this basin. Samples collected were nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, chloride, sulfate, triazine pesticides, polar pesticides and metabolites, herbicide metabolites, and suspended sediment. Pesticide samples were collected bi-weekly the first 2 years during the growing season.
Click for larger photo of Duck Creek
3 - Urban indicator site -- Lincoln Creek at 47th Street at Milwaukee, WI 040869415 drains 9.6 square miles of clayey surficial deposits in an older urban (100%) area of Milwaukee . Extensive remediation has taken place in Lincoln Creek during the high phase of Cycle II to improve aquatic habitat, water-quality and decrease flooding. This work included: removal of the concrete channel lining and weirs; increased channel width and bank height; removal of non-native flora; increase of meanders to decrease flood velocities; installation of fish pools and gabion structures to improve aeration of Lincoln Creek. Samples collected were nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, chloride, sulfate, triazine pesticides, polar pesticides and metabolites, herbicide metabolites, and suspended sediment. Pesticide samples were collected bi-weekly the first 2 years during the growing season. VOC samples were collected monthly during the spring and summer, and bi-weekly during the fall and winter of the first full year of the high phase.

Click for larger photo Lincoln Creek, mid 1990's

Lincoln Creek, pre-remediation (mid 1990's)

Click for larger photo of Lincoln Creek, post remediation

Lincoln Cr, post-remediation (2004)

4 - Integrator site -- Milwaukee River at Milwaukee, WI 04087000 drains 696 square miles of mixed surficial deposits and mixed land use. The primary land-use in the basin is agriculture (60%) followed by urban (26%) that flows into Lake Michigan at Milwaukee, WI, the largest urban area in Wisconsin. The site is located in a city park that is very popular with anglers as salmon, walleye and bass that move upstream from Lake Michigan. Samples collected were nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, chloride, sulfate, triazine pesticides, polar pesticides and metabolites, herbicide metabolites, and suspended sediment. Pesticide samples were collected bi-weekly the first 2 years during the growing season.
Click for larger photo of Milwaukee River


Low Phase - Cycle II

From 2005 through 2006, only one site was sampled as part of the low phase of NAWQA. The Popple River at Fence was sampled bi-monthly for nutrients, chloride, sulfate and suspended sediment. Ecological samples were collected every year at this site also.

Beginning in 2007, 3 sites (Popple River, Duck Creek and Lincoln Creek) will be sampled on an intermittent and rotational basis. Lincoln Creek will be sampled 21 times per year, every 2 years, beginning in 2007. Duck Creek and Popple River will also be sampled 21 times per year, every 4 years, beginning in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

For water-quality data, see our Data page.

Literature Cited

USGS National Field Methods protocol was used at all sites for the collection and processing of water chemistry samples. National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations - Book 9 - Handbooks for Water-Resources Investigations

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