Theses and Dissertations

Title: A physical-chemical and biological survey of two streams receiving domestic sewage (Bicycle Path Creek and Parkerson Mill Creek, Lee County, Alabama)

Name: Rogers, Wilmer Alexander

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. Homer S. Swingle

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1960

Pages: 66

Keywords: Physical-Chemical Survey,Biological Survey,Streams,Domestic Sewage,Bicycle Path Creek,Parkerson Mill Creek,Lee County,Alabama.


A physical-chemical and biological survey was conducted on Bicycle Path Creek and Parkerson Mill Creek, Lee County, Alabama, to determine the effects of domestic sewage on the chemical quality of the water and on macro-invertebrate and fish populations. This study also detected changes brought about by sewage diversion from Bicycle Path Creek to Parkerson Mill Creek and by activation of the new sewage treatment plant. The study was conducted from about 4 months before to about 4 1/2 months after the plant was activated. Results of this study showed that concentrations of dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and alkalinity and pH values in the two creeks were affected by rainfall, distance downstream from the sewage outfall, the introduction into the stream of sewage and activation of the sewage treatment plant. The dilutional effects of rainfall and activation of the sewage treatment plant caused an increase in pH values and D.O. concentrations, while CO2, ammonia, and alkalinity decreased. Stations located below the sewage outfall had low D.O. concentrations and pH values which increased with distance from the outfall, while CO2, ammonia, and alkalinity concentrations decreased. Sewage introduced into the stream caused decreased D.O. and pH values, while CO2, alkalinity and ammonia increased. Macro-invertebrate population changes were not as evident during this study as were the physical-chemical changes. It appeared possible that not enough time had elapsed for reinvasion by macro-invertebrates used as indicators of non-polluted conditions. Organisms with long life-cycles such as mayflies and stoneflies that are used as indicators of clean water were not found during this study. The most abundant organisms found throughout the survey period was a sludgeworm, Tubifex sp.Fish populations studies were conducted approximately three weeks before and three months after the plant became operational. No fish were found at the first two stations, 2.0 and 3.3 miles respectively below the sewage outfall, on the first study, and only 6 species and 46 individuals were found 4.3 miles below the outfall. The second study showed fish to be present at all Stations below the outfall.

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