The daily and annual loads of nitrate plus nitrite and total nitrogen for the Connecticut River at Middle Haddam, Connecticut, were determined for water years 2009 to 2014. The analysis was done with a combination of methods, which included a predefined rating curve method for nitrate plus nitrite and total nitrogen for water years 2009 to 2011 and a custom rating curve method that included sensor measurements of nitrate plus nitrite nitrogen concentration and turbidity along with mean daily flow to determine total nitrogen loads for water years 2011 to 2014. Instantaneous concentrations of total nitrogen were estimated through the use of a regression model based on sensor measurements at 15-minute intervals of nitrate plus nitrite nitrogen and turbidity for water years 2011 to 2014.
Annual total nitrogen loads at the Connecticut River at Middle Haddam ranged from 12,900 to 19,200 metric tons, of which about 42 to 49 percent was in the form of nitrate plus nitrite. The mean 95-percent prediction intervals on daily total nitrogen load estimates were smaller from the custom model, which used sensor data, than those calculated by the predefined model.
Annual total nitrogen load estimates at the Connecticut River at Middle Haddam were compared with the upstream load estimates at the Connecticut River at Thompsonville, Conn. Annual gains in total nitrogen loads between the two stations ranged from 3,430 to 6,660 metric tons. These increases between the two stations were attributed to the effects of increased urbanization and to combined annual discharges of 1,540 to 2,090 metric tons of nitrogen from 24 wastewater treatment facilities in the drainage area between the two stations. The contribution of total nitrogen from wastewater discharge between the two stations had declined substantially before the beginning of this study and accounted for from 31 to 52 percent of the gain in nitrogen load between the Thompsonville and Middle Haddam sites.
|Title||Nitrogen concentrations and loads for the Connecticut River at Middle Haddam, Connecticut, computed with the use of autosampling and continuous measurements of water quality for water years 2009 to 2014|
|Authors||John R. Mullaney, Joseph W. Martin, Jonathan Morrison|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||New England Water Science Center|