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A water-quality assessment of the Busseron Creek watershed, Sullivan, Vigo, Greene, and Clay counties, Indiana

January 1, 1978

Chemical quality of surface water in the 237-square mile Busseron Creek watershed is significantly affected by drainage from coal mines and municipalities. Drainage from coal mines is primarily a problem of higher than normal dissolved-solids concentration, whereas, drainage from municipalities is generally a problem of bacteria and phytoplankton. Generally, the water is calcium bicarbonate type, except in streams affected by drainage from coal mines, where the water is a mixed calcium and magnesium sulfate type.

Ranges of concentration (in milligrams per liter) of dissolved solids and of some of the chemical constituents dissolved in streams from September 1975 to July 2976 were: dissolved solids, from 104 to 2, 610; iron, from 0.00 to 150; sulfate, from 14 to 1,900; chloride, from 3.3 to 130; nitrate (as nitrogen), from 0.01 to 5.3; phosphate (as phosphorus), from 0.1 to 1.7; and total organic carbon, from 2.4 to 60. Range of pH was from 2.7 to 9.6. Highest concentrations of iron and sulfate and lowest pH values were measured at sites draining areas mined for coal. Highest concentrations of chloride, phosphate, and total organic carbon were at sites downstream from municipalities.

Ranges of concentration of chlorinated hydrocarbons (in micrograms per kilogram) detected in bed material of streams were: aldrin, from 0.2 to 0.4; chlordane, from 0 to 13; DDE, from 0.0 to 0.3; dieldrin, from 0.0 to 9.8; and heptachlor epoxide, from 0 to 1.0. Source of these materials is probably drainage from croplands.

Streams draining municipalities were affected by human wastes and had high populations of fecal coliform bacteria (as many as 46,000 colonies per 100 ml) and phytoplankton (as many as 190,000 cells per milliliter). Dissolved-oxygen concentration ranged from 2.8 to 15.0 milligrams per liter (from 26 to 194 percent of saturation).

Publication Year 1978
Title A water-quality assessment of the Busseron Creek watershed, Sullivan, Vigo, Greene, and Clay counties, Indiana
DOI 10.3133/ofr7813
Authors Stephen E. Eikenberry
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 78-13
Index ID ofr7813
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Indiana Water Science Center