Water quality of the lower Fox River tributaries and Duck Creek watersheds

Science Center Objects

The USGS is evaluating the effectiveness of non-point pollution control measures in five watersheds in the Lower Fox River and Duck Creek watersheds and comparing daily phosphorus and suspended solids loads for each watershed.

Photograph of a tributary to the Fox River

Problem

Nonpoint-source pollution is a major concern in Wisconsin. An evaluation strategy will be used to assess the effectiveness of nonpoint-source pollution control measures in five watersheds in the Lower Fox River and Duck Creek watersheds.

Objectives

In-stream water-quality parameters (nutrients and suspended solids) will be monitored. The overall objective of this monitoring is to compare daily phosphorus and suspended solids loads for each watershed. Measured loads will be compared with those modeled by the University of Wisconsin Green Bay (UWGB).

Approach

Sampling will consist of fixed-interval and event-based sampling. Fixed interval monitoring consists of a predetermined sampling schedule that results in a set of data that captures natural variability in water quality due to a variety of unpredictable environmental conditions. Event-based monitoring consists of intensive sampling during periods of extreme variation in concentration and streamflow, which are important in accurately defining loads. Routine sampling will be conducted by the USGS and UWGB. Automated samples will be retrieved with the assistance from the UWGB. The USGS will determine which samples should be analyzed to represent the changes in water quality in the streams. All samples will be analyzed at the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage Treatment Water Quality Laboratory.