Water Quality Monitoring and Algal Community Composition Analysis in Support of Eutrophication Beneficial Use Impairment Evaluation in the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern, Northwest Indiana

Science Center Objects

In cooperation with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

BACKGROUND

In 1972 the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement was established between the United States and Canada (the “Parties”). In the 1987 amendment to the Agreement, the Parties agreed to develop and implement Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) to address forty-three Areas of Concern (AOC) designated within the Great Lakes Basin (Indiana Department of Environmental Management, 2012). These AOCs were identified as having at least one impairment to the fourteen beneficial uses of the Great Lakes ecosystem. All fourteen beneficial use impairments (BUI) were determined to be present in the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Ship Canal, including a eutrophication, or undesirable algae beneficial use impairment (BUI 8).

Spring and summer seasonal data and analyses are needed during a two-year period for Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to evaluate conditions related to the eutrophication beneficial use impairment in the Grand Calumet River (GCR) and Indiana Harbor Canal (IHC) and related sites in the Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Canal AOC in northwest Indiana.  In particular, water quality and biological data are needed to evaluate conditions relative to BUI 8 for segments of the GCR and IHC that are defined as impaired relative to BUI 8.

 

APPROACH

The U.S. Geological Survey, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center, in cooperation with IDEM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, began collecting continuous, probe-based measurements of dissolved oxygen (DO) and water temperature at 13 sites in the Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Canal AOC in the spring of 2021 (Figure 1; Table 1). Other data being collected include continuous, probe-based chlorophyll measurements at four sites and continuous total algae measurements at one site. Links to USGS NWISWeb site pages where the data is available for viewing and downloading are available in Table 1.

Field visits to sites will include observations by USGS personnel of the presence of blue-green algae or filamentous Cladophora blooms.  This project will also use other continuous data from USGS monitored sites on the IHC at Canal Street [1] and on the Grand Calumet River at Columbia Avenue[2] as comparison records for these sites.

A coordinated genomic-based assessment (Piredda and others, 2018; Wolf and Vis, 2020) will also be undertaken with U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center at a subset of five sites where physical continuous measurements of dissolved oxygen and temperature are planned in order to characterize algal communities related to eutrophic conditions, including species associated with harmful algal blooms and nuisance algae.  Sampling and characterization of algal communities at peak photosynthetic periods is planned for three different periods in 2021.

Map showing the location of the 13 sites

Figure 1. Map showing the location of the 13 sites where continuous water quality monitoring data is being collected in the Grand Calumet River Indiana Harbor Canal Area of Concern.

Table 1. Monitoring site names, locations and available data types.

DO, Dissolved oxygen; Q, Discharge; GH, Gage height; SC, Specific conductance; fChl, Chlorophyll fluorescence; fPC, Phycocyanin fluorescence; Turb, Turbidity; Comm, Community algal information

Map Number Agency Code USGS Site Identifier Station Name Available data types Links to USGS NWISWeb
1 USGS 413722087304901 GRAND CALUMET RIVER AT SOHL AV AT HAMMOND, IN DO, T Link to data
2 USGS 05536356 GRAND CALUMET RIVER AT COLUMBIA AV AT HAMMOND, IN DO, T, Q, GH, SC, pH, fChl, fPC, Turb, Comm Link to data
3 USGS 413651087285001 GRAND CALUMET R AT INDPLS BLVD AT EAST CHICAGO, IN DO, T Link to data
4 USGS 413656087272301 GRAND CALUMET R NR KENNEDY AV AT EAST CHICAGO, IN DO, T Link to data
5 USGS 413646087260101 GRAND CALUMET R AT CLINE AV AT EAST CHICAGO, IN DO, T Link to data
6 USGS 04092677 GRAND CALUMET RIVER AT INDUSTRIAL HWY AT GARY, IN DO, T, Q, GH, fChl, Comm Link to data
7 USGS 413632087221900 GRAND CALUMET RIVER AT BRIDGE ST AT GARY, IN DO, T Link to data
8 USGS 413626087211101 GRAND CALUMET RIVER AT BUCHANAN ST AT GARY, IN DO, T Link to data
9 USGS 413628087201401 GRAND CALUMET RIVER AT BROADWAY ST AT GARY, IN DO, T Link to data
10 USGS 413859087302901 DRAINAGE DITCH NEAR LAKE GEORGE AT HAMMOND, IN DO, T, Comm Link to data
11 USGS 413704087153501 GRAND CALUMET LAGOON AT MARQUETTE PARK AT GARY, IN DO, T, fChl, Comm Link to data
12 USGS 413745087281601 IHC AT CHICAGO AV AT EAST CHICAGO, IN DO, T Link to data
13 USGS 04092750 INDIANA HARBOR CANAL AT EAST CHICAGO, IN DO, T, Q, GH, SC, pH, fChl, Turb, Comm Link to data
GRAND CALUMET LAGOON AT MARQUETTE PARK

Equipment deployment and visual conditions on May 23rd, 2021 at station USGS 413704087153501 GRAND CALUMET LAGOON AT MARQUETTE PARK AT GARY, IN

(USGS - OKI Water Science Center)

GRAND CALUMET RIVER AT SOHL AV AT HAMMOND

Equipment deployment at station USGS 413722087304901 GRAND CALUMET RIVER AT SOHL AV AT HAMMOND, IN

(USGS - OKI Water Science Center)

 

 

REFERENCES

Crawford, C.G., Wangsness, D.J., 1987, Streamflow and water quality of the Grand Calumet River, Lake County, Indiana, and Cook County, Illinois, October 1984: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 86-4208, 137p. Accessed at URL https://pubs.usgs.gov/wri/1986/4208/report.pdf

Indiana Administrative Code, 2020, Title 327 Water Pollution Control Division, Article 2. Water Quality Standards, 327 IAC 2-1-6 Minimum surface water quality standards, 133 p., accessed September 3, 2020 at http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/T03270/A00020.PDF?

Indiana Department of Environmental Management, 2020, 2020 Indiana Integrated Water Monitoring and Assessment Report to the U.S. EPA, Appendix G. IDEM’s 2020 Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (CALM), 74 p., accessed September 3, 2020 at https://www.in.gov/idem/nps/files/ir_2020_apndx_g_calm.pdf

Indiana Department of Environmental Management, 2012, Update to the Stage 2.5 Remedial Action Plan (RAP) Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Ship Canal Area of Concern, 32 p., accessed September 3, 2020 at https://www.in.gov/idem/lakemichigan/files/grancal_rap_stage_2_update.pdf

Piredda, R., Claverie, J., Decelle, J. et al. 2018. Diatom diversity through HTS-metabarcoding in coastal European seas. Sci Rep 8, 18059. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-36345-9

U.S. Geological Survey, 2018, National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 9, various chapters; accessed through links at URL https://www.usgs.gov/mission-areas/water-resources/science/national-field-manual-collection-water-quality-data-nfm

Wagner, R.J., Boulger, R.W., Jr., Oblinger, C.J., and Smith, B.A., 2006, Guidelines and standard procedures for continuous water-quality monitors—Station operation, record computation, and data reporting: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 1–D3, 51 p. + 8 attachments; accessed at URL http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/tm1d3

Wolf, D.I. and M.L. Vis. 2020. Stream algal biofilm community diversity along an acid mine drainage recovery gradient using multimarker metabarcoding. Journal of Phycology 56: 11-22. DOI: 10.1111/jpy.12935

 

 

[1] Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

[2] Funded by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and USGS Urban Water Federal Partnership