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Reconnaissance of water quality of Pueblo Reservoir, Colorado: May through December 1985

January 1, 1989

Pueblo Reservoir is the farthest upstream, main-stream reservoir constructed on the Arkansas River and is located in Pueblo County approximately 6 miles upstream from the city of Pueblo, Colorado. During the 1985 sampling period, the reservoir was stratified, and underflow from the Arkansas River occurred that resulted in stratification with respect to specific conductance. Concentrations of dissolved solids decreased markedly below the thermocline during June. Later in the summer, dissolved-solids concentrations increased substantially below the thermocline. Substantial depletion of dissolved oxygen occurred near the bottom of the reservoir. The dissolved oxygen minimum of 0.1 mg/L occurred during August near the reservoir bottom at transect 7 (near the dam). The average total-inorganic-nitrogen concentration near the reservoir surface was about 0.2 mg/L; near the reservoir bottom, the average concentration was about 0.3 mg/L. Concentrations of total phosphorus ranged from less than 0.01 to 0.05 mg/L near the reservoir surface, and from less than 0.01 to 0.22 mg/L near the reservoir bottom. At transect 2 (about 7 miles upstream from the dam) near the bottom of the reservoir, concentrations of total iron exceeded aquatic-life standards, and dissolved-manganese concentrations exceeded standards for public water supply. Diatoms, green algae, blue-green algae, and cryptomonads comprised the majority of phytoplankton in Pueblo Reservoir in 1985. The maximum average of 41,000 cells/ml occurred in July. Blue-green algae dominated from June to September; diatoms were the dominant group of algae in October. The average concentrations of phytoplankton decreased from July to October.

Publication Year 1989
Title Reconnaissance of water quality of Pueblo Reservoir, Colorado: May through December 1985
DOI 10.3133/wri884118
Authors Patrick Edelmann
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 88-4118
Index ID wri884118
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse