Snapshot '98 Report by jld17717

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									                                                Water Snapshot ’98
                                                An Earth Week Survey of the Delaware River Basin
                                                This report was prepared by the Delaware River Basin Commission on behalf of
                                                the co-sponsors of Water Snapshot ’98—New Jersey Department of Environmental
                                                Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania
                                                Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, New York Department of
                                                Environmental Conservation, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and
                                                Environmental Control, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the Upper Delaware
                                                Council, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regions II and III.
                                                Delaware River Basin Commission
                                                 .O.
                                                P Box 7360
                                                West Trenton, NJ 08628-0360
                                                Tel. (609) 883-9500
                                                FAX (609) 883-9522
                                                Authors
                                                Robert Kausch and Susan Weisman, Delaware River Basin Commission
                                                Editor
                                                Christopher Roberts, Delaware River Basin Commission
                                                DRBC Staff Support
                                                Peg Lebo (data entry)
                                                Judy Scouten
                                                Water Snapshot ’98 Logo Design
                                                Tom Brand, Delaware River Basin Commission
                                                Water Snapshot ’98 Planning and Coordinating Committee
                                                Delaware River Basin Commission
                                                Robert Kausch, David Pollison, Susan Weisman
                                                Delaware Riverkeeper Network
                                                Fred Stine, Tom Gilbert
                                                Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
                                                Diane Wilson, Cheryl Snyder—Bureau of Watershed Conservation
                                                John Hines—Office for River Basin Cooperation
                                                Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
                                                Estelle Ruppert—Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Contents
                                                Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Volunteerism at Its Best                    1   Pearl Burbage
Collecting and Analyzing Samples            2   New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
The Delaware River Basin                    4   Scott Kishbaugh
Sampling by Sub-Basins                      6   New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Water Quality Findings—Basinwide           11   Harold Nebling
Water Quality Findings—Delaware River      14   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Visual Assessment Results                  16   Pete Weber—Region III
                                                Bob Nyman—Region II
                                                Upper Delaware Council
Printed on recycled paper with soy inks.        Bill Douglass
Volunteerism
at Its Best                                                                       shed groups and volunteer monitor-           These volunteers collected sam-
                                                                                  ing programs; students from 56            ples, filled out data sheets, and sub-
      nce again bracketing Earth Day,    favorite waterway somewhere in the       schools, from first-grade through         mitted them to the Delaware River
      from April 17 through April 26,    Delaware River Basin.                    college ecology classes; employees of     Basin Commission (DRBC) for
 1998, Water Snapshot ’98 brought            While not meeting all the            5 private water supply and 2 manu-        analysis and publication. Some sent
 hundreds of volunteers out to their     requirements of a scientifically valid   facturing companies; girl scouts and      photos as well—of their waterway
 local streambanks and bridges to        study,Water Snapshot is an outstand-     members of other youth groups and         and themselves.
 take a “snapshot” of the waters of      ing undertaking nonetheless. Besides     environmental education programs;            This report is theirs: their pic-
 the Delaware River Basin. As in         allowing comparison of water qual-       and staff of the Delaware Bay             tures, their data, their waters.
 Water Snapshot’s first two successful   ity from year to year by the partici-    Schooner Project.
 years, young and old, experienced       pants, the information gathered
 and first-time samplers, tested the     provides a good record of the pub-                                               LEFT: Nicki Tomasello, a student at
                                                                                                                          Governor Mifflin High School, performs a
 waters of every corner of the           lic’s interest in the quality of the                                             dissolved oxygen test on the waters of
 basin—from the brooks of New            basin’s waters.                                                                  Wyomissing Creek in West Reading, Pa.
 York’s Catskill Mountains, the head-        During Water Snapshot ’98, 490                                               (Photo: J. Shidisky, Schuylkill River
 waters of the Delaware River; from      sampling events were completed on                                                Greenway Association)
 the Delaware’s tidal streams; from      221 water bodies, mostly rivers and                                              BELOW:   The redback salamander
 streams and lakes in the Pennsylvania   streams, but also 28 lakes and 3                                                 (Plethodon cinereus) is one of millions of
 and New Jersey portions of the          ponds. Many participants gathered                                                critters that inhabit the Delaware River.
 watershed; and from rural, suburban,    samples from boats.The sampling
 and urban waters throughout the         generated several thousand individual
 basin.                                  bits of data on the physical and
     Water Snapshot was an idea con-     chemical makeup of the water and
 ceived in 1995 at a meeting to pro-     on the physical appearance of the
 mote volunteer monitoring programs      stream corridors.
 in the Delaware River Basin.What            Overall, water quality was found
 if folks all over the basin collected   to be very good again, and the level
 water quality samples during the        of interest continues to grow. En-
 same time period? What if that time     couraged by their personal contri-
 period overlapped Earth Day, giving     bution to the water quality database,
 people an opportunity to express        many of the original volunteers dur-
 their concern for clean water by        ing Water Snapshot ’96 participated
 actually sampling it? This simple but   again in 1997. And in 1998. Others
 powerful idea came to fruition in       joined them: staff from 11 county
 1996 when, for the first time, hun-     health departments and from federal
 dreds of people put aside their nor-    and state environmental agencies;
 mal routines and dipped into a          members of 50 citizen and water-


                                                                                                                                                                       1
Collecting and
Analyzing Samples                                                              Support from the Top                     hauled up buckets of river water to
                                                                                   On April 21, 1998, New Jersey        test and record data—not just for
    he selection of water quality      litmus paper. A small suite of “core”   Governor Christine Todd Whitman,         educational purposes, not just for
    parameters for the initial Water   parameters consisting of air and        Delaware River Basin commissioners       fun, but to be part of the Delaware
 Snapshot was a critical decision,     water temperature, pH, dissolved        and executive director, and a Girl       River Basin’s largest water quality
 since the program’s participants      oxygen, nitrate, and phosphate was      Scout troop from Delran, N.J., joined    monitoring program to date.
 would vary from highly scientific     chosen and proven effective.The         the staff of the Delaware Bay                Based on the data presented in
 organizations to elementary school    data form also asked participants       Schooner Project on the restored         Appendix A, dissolved oxygen levels
 programs using simple test kits and   what type of equipment they used.       oyster schooner A.J. Meerwald, to col-   that day at Burlington were quite
                                           Recognizing that most programs      lect water quality samples from the      good, ranging from 7.0 to 12.0 mil-
                                       sampled additional parameters, the      Delaware River at Burlington, N.J.       ligrams per liter (mg/l). Levels above
                                       planning committee included five            Project members of this sailing      6.0 mg/l fully support fish and other
                                       optional parameters in 1997: alkalin-   classroom focused their onboard          aquatic life. Air temperature ranged
                                       ity, carbon dioxide, coliform, con-     educational program on water qual-       from 14.5˚C (58˚F) to 23˚C (73˚F),
                                       ductivity, and turbidity. In 1998, a    ity, watersheds, oystering, and plank-   setting the stage for a perfect sam-
                                       visual assessment of conditions in      ton.With wind in their hair and sun      pling day on the water.
                                       small wadeable streams was added.       on their faces, the vessel’s crew and
                                                                               45 passengers deployed an otter          A Multi-State Effort
                                                                               trawl to collect aquatic life and           A few days later in the upper
                                                                                                                        reaches of the basin in New York
                                                                                                                        State, Margaretville Central School
                                                                                                                        District joined forces with the
                                                                        FAR LEFT: The Delaware Bay                      Catskill Center for Conservation
                                                                        Schooner Project, a nonprofit                   and Development to sample the East
                                                                        organization, uses New Jersey’s                 Branch of the Delaware River.They,
                                                                        official tall ship, A.J. Meerwald, as           too, found healthy levels of dissolved
                                                                        a sailing classroom. (Photo: Sarah
                                                                        Ruppert)                                        oxygen. Unlike conditions on April
                                                                                                                        21 at Burlington, however, it was a
                                                                        LEFT: A member of Delran Girl
                                                                        Scout Troop 6452 and Bob Shinn,
                                                                                                                        cool spring day, with air temperature
                                                                        Commissioner of the New Jersey                  reaching only 10˚C (50˚F). Not sur-
                                                                        Department of Environmental                     prisingly, the water registered only
                                                                        Protection and New Jersey                       4˚C (39.2˚F).
                                                                        Commissioner of the DRBC, look                     In another area of the basin, sev-
                                                                        on as Governor Christine Todd
                                                                        Whitman performs a dissolved
                                                                                                                        eral students from Lower Nazareth
                                                                        oxygen test on water from the                   Elementary School joined their sci-
                                                                        Delaware River.                                 ence teacher, Mark Atwood, to study
                                                                                                                        the water quality of a local creek in


2
Northampton County, which feeds         watching water.” For that is what           here should double-check their          • The U.S. Geological Survey
into Bushkill Creek, which in turn      they do every week—use their eyes           analytical techniques, review the         maintains automatic water quality
empties into the Delaware River at      to help evaluate the pH, dissolved          expiration dates on reagents, capture     monitors at a number of sites in
Easton, Pa.                             oxygen, turbidity, volume of flow,          duplicate samples for comparison in       the basin, including four sites on
    While working with maps to          phosphates, and temperature.                the future, see what types of activi-     the mainstem Delaware:Trenton,
study the topography of the creek’s                                                 ties occur upstream from their sam-       river mile (RM) 135; Philadel-
watershed in relation to the Bushkill   Some Caveats                                pling sites, and double-check their       phia, RM 100; Chester, RM 82;
Creek, the students discovered that         A unique feature of Water Snap-         data-reporting methods.                   and Reedy Island, RM 55.These
the creek was unnamed. So in Febru-     shot continues with this report.With            Appendix A contains all the           monitors automatically analyze
ary 1998, the students and several      so many diverse groups participating,       monitoring data submitted, grouped        four parameters every quarter
parents visited the Lenni Lenape        each with different monitoring              by sub-basin, and the names of the        hour every day of the year.
Museum in Allentown, Pa., to gather     objectives and levels of experience,        participants who supplied the data.
historical information relevant to      and co-sponsors wanting to recog-           Appendix B provides the names,          • Another unique monitoring pro-
naming their creek. During their        nize everyone’s efforts equally, all data   addresses, and phone numbers of the       gram uses a hydroacoustic process
research, they also learned a great     are lumped together, regardless of the      Water Snapshot ’98 participants, and      to count migrating American
deal about the Lenape language.         precision of the analytical methods or      Appendix C contains the data sheet        shad passing beneath the Route
Many of the names of places in          expertise (or lack thereof) of the ana-     they used.                                202 Lambertville–New Hope
Northampton County come from            lyst.Therefore, there can be no pre-            Though many participants con-         Bridge (RM 150). Fishery biolo-
the Lenape language: Catasaugua—        tense that basinwide summaries are          tributed additional physical and          gist Mark Boriek of the New
thirsty earth; Coplay—smooth run-       true “scientific” facts.                    chemical monitoring data, only a          Jersey Department of Environ-
ning stream; Lehigh—where there             The participants certainly are          small portion of the data could be        mental Protection reported that
are forks in the stream; Pocono—        able to use the data they have con-         recorded in Appendix A. Monitor-          287,025 shad were counted dur-
stream between mountains; and           tributed to Water Snapshot to make          ing the basin’s stream biota is popu-     ing Water Snapshot ’98—73 per-
Monocacy—stream with large bends.       valid observations for their own            lar, providing participants a wealth      cent of the total run for the year.
    Upon further research, the water    individual programs.We’re sure most         of information on long-term condi-
quality group learned that the          of the volunteers understand the            tions in a given stream. However,       • In addition, the DRBC, the basin
unnamed creek did in fact have a        purpose of this caveat.We hope that         because of the different monitoring       states, the U.S. Environmental
name … Engler’s Creek, from the         this report gives everyone an appre-        methods used, summarizing the data        Protection Agency (EPA), and
name of one of the original settlers    ciation of the number of people and         meaningfully for Water Snapshot ’98       the U.S. Army Corps of Engi-
of the area. Engler’s farm was at one   organizations involved in monitoring        was infeasible.                           neers all had specialized monitor-
time located at the headwaters of       water quality, and that the partici-            Furthermore, not all the moni-        ing programs underway
this small creek.                       pants gain a lift through publication       toring data collected during Water        somewhere in the basin.
    The group also has a new name:      of their data.                              Snapshot ’98 have been included
Wuschginkwall Genachgihat M’bi,             Any participants concerned that         because of space considerations.The
which, when translated from the         the data they provided fall in the          following agencies will gladly share
Lenni Lenape language, means “eyes      outer ranges of the data presented          the data they have collected:



                                                                                                                                                                3
The Delaware
River Basin                                                                        to the Delaware are the Lehigh and         origin of the rock, and the land
                                                                                   Schuylkill Rivers in Pennsylvania.         includes less forest and more farm-
    he Delaware River Basin is a fairly    federal Clean Water Act in 1972, the    Both of these watersheds have been         land and suburban sprawl.
    small watershed in comparison          states and the U.S. EPA have also       subject to by-products of intensive            Past the fall line at Trenton, the
 with those of other major U.S.            played a major role in pollution        coal mining in their headwaters.           river flows through the coastal plain
 rivers. In land area, the basin drains    control throughout the basin.These      Major towns along each tributary           of New Jersey, southeastern Pennsyl-
 13,539 square miles, which is only        agencies have not been alone in         include: Allentown, Bethlehem, and         vania, and Delaware in the tidal
 0.4 percent of the total U.S. land        their heroic efforts.                   Easton along the Lehigh River, and         Delaware Estuary.The major influ-
 area. However, the basin seems                Since the 1970s’ environmental      Pottsville, Reading, Pottstown, Nor-       ence on water quality in the Lower
 much larger, considering the fact         movement, government agencies           ristown, and Philadelphia along the        Delaware is urbanization.The river
 that almost 7 percent of the U.S.         have been aided greatly by watchful     Schuylkill River.                          flows past Trenton, Camden,
 population depends upon it as a pri-      citizen monitors. Recognizing that          The cold, clear, highly oxy-           Philadelphia, Chester, and Wilming-
 mary source of water. Blessed by 44       government alone cannot preserve        genated mountain streams of the            ton—a highly populated urban
 inches of rainfall a year, the basin is   the outstanding water quality found     New York Catskill Mountains form           complex with major ports and
 able to support not only the 7.3          in reaches of the Delaware, individ-    the headwaters of the Delaware             industries.Tributaries along this
 million residents within its bound-       ual citizens have banded together in    River Basin, draining into the East        reach of the river have felt the
 aries, but another 10 million outside     many instances to take “ownership”      and West Branches of the Delaware          effects of a few hundred years of
 the basin in New York City and            of their local waterways, and are       River, which meet at Hancock, N.Y.         development and industrialization,
 northern New Jersey.The Delaware          working to preserve their valuable      This northern region is known to           and must accommodate further
 Basin also supplies many industrial,      water resources for future genera-      geologists as the glacier-carved           rapid growth in their headwaters
 agricultural, commercial, and recre-      tions. Just as the Delaware River       upland physiographic province.This         now that the U.S. population has
 ational water needs.                      Basin is composed of many smaller       area is home to the Upper Delaware         shifted out of the cities and into the
     Not long ago, the many demands        watersheds, the citizen monitors        National Scenic and Recreational           ever-growing suburbs. Many of
 placed upon the Delaware River            listed in the appendices of this doc-   River, as well as the Middle               these tributaries are especially in
 nearly killed it. In addition to serv-    ument contribute to a much larger       Delaware Scenic and Recreational           need of protection by citizen moni-
 ing as a water supply for so many         collective effort.                      River, both of which have been             tors, and are close to most of our
 people and their activities, the river                                            included in the National Wild and          back yards.
 also served as an open sewer. At the      A Tour of the Delaware                  Scenic Rivers System. Once the                 Below Wilmington, the river
 height of World War II, many              River Watershed                         river breaks through the main ridge        widens into the Delaware Bay,
 reaches of the river were devoid of          Along its 330-mile path to the       of the Appalachians at the Delaware        where the land is flat, the shores are
 life due to lack of oxygen.               Atlantic Ocean, the Delaware River      Water Gap, it flows through broad          marshy, and agriculture dominates
     Since then, the river has been        collects water from ecologically        valleys past the rolling hills of the      the inland landscape. Some industry
 brought back to life. Much of the         diverse tributaries, influenced by      Piedmont. Here the streams are a bit       exists where petrochemical and
 credit for the restoration of the tidal   wide-ranging natural and human-         less sloped, flow is a little slower,      power plants require cooling water,
 river (the estuary) has been given to     induced conditions that dictate its     light penetration is greater, the sub-     but most other human-induced
 the DRBC.With the passage of the          water quality.The major tributaries     strate is less influenced by the glacial   effects on water quality originate



4
from poultry and vegetable farming.    New Jersey, and the Chesapeake &      May, N.J., and Cape Henlopen, Del.,


                                                                                                              ,
                                                                                                              ,,
Feeder streams flow slowly, meander,   Delaware Canal and the Smyrna,        the bay encompasses an extremely
and are generally warmer than the      Leipsic, Murderkill, and Broadkill    rich and diverse ecosystem known


                                                                                                              ,,
                                                                                                              ,,    ,,,,
mountain streams in Pennsylvania       Rivers in Delaware.The bay is heav-   for its fisheries, horseshoe crabs,
and New York. Major tributaries to     ily influenced by the tides, which    and huge flocks of migratory
the bay include the Salem,             may cause great variation in local    birds.
Cohansey, and Maurice Rivers (a        water quality. Before feeding into


                                                                                                                      ,,
                                                                                                                     ,,
                                                                                                                      ,
National Wild and Scenic River) in     the Atlantic Ocean between Cape



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                                                                                                             Margaretville
                                                                                                                             ,
                                                                                                                             ,,
                                                                                                                               ,
                                                                                                                              ,,
                                                                                                             Central School
                                                                                                             District sixth-



                                                                                                                             ,,
                                                                                                             grade class and
                                                                                                             teacher Karen



                                                                                                                             ,,
                                                                                                             Underwood get
                                                                                                             some pointers



                                                                                                                             ,,
                                                                                                                             ,,
                                                                                                             from M.J. Reiss,
                                                                                                             director of educa-
                                                                                                             tion for the
                                                                                                             Catskill Center
                                                                                                             for Conservation
                                                                                                             and Development.




                                                                                                                                  5
Sampling by
Sub-Basins                                                                       major tributaries include: Flat       percent increase over 1997.Twenty-
                                                                                 Brook, Paulins Kill, Pequest River,   nine streams were sampled.
    or the purpose of picturing the      include: Equinunk Creek, Lack-          Pohatcong Creek, Lopatcong Creek,
    geographic extent of sampling        awaxen River, and Shohola Creek.        and the Musconetcong River.           Sub-Basin 4: Lower Delaware
 that occurred during Water Snapshot     Sub-basin 1 includes the National       Pennsylvania tributaries include:     to Trenton (NJ & PA)
 ’98, samples were grouped accord-       Park Service Upper Delaware             Sawkill Creek, Raymondskill Creek,        This is the drainage area com-
 ing to the Delaware River Basin         Scenic and Recreational River.          Dingmans Creek, Bushkill, Brod-       posed mostly of small Delaware
 sub-basin from which they were          There were 30 sampling events in        head Creek, Cherry Creek, Martins     River tributaries located between
 collected (see Appendix A).This cre-    1998, 6 fewer than in 1997, with 18     Creek, and Bushkill Creek. Sub-       the USGS gauge at Riegelsville, N.J.
 ated a visual summary of the sam-       in New York and 12 in Pennsylva-        basin 2 includes the Middle Dela-     (RM 174.8), and the USGS gauge
 pling coverage.                         nia.Twenty-three different streams      ware Scenic and Recreational River.   at Trenton, N.J. (RM 134.3).The
     The following descriptions of the   were sampled, just over 10 percent      Eighty-two samples were taken from    approximate drainage area is 452
 sub-basins include their major tribu-   of the total streams sampled.Ten of     locations in Sub-basin 2, including   square miles. New Jersey tributaries
 taries and summaries of the moni-       the 18 New York collections were        71 from Pennsylvania, the majority    include: Harihokake Creek,
 toring activities that took place in    made by Margaretville Central           taken in the Brodhead Creek water-    Nishisakawick Creek, Copper
 each.                                   School students on their first day      shed by the Brodhead Watershed        Creek,Warford Creek, Lockatong
                                         back from vacation, at 6:00 P.M.        Association.                          Creek,Wickecheoke Creek, Alex-
 Sub-Basin 1: Upper                      These samples were from the head-                                             auken Creek, Swan Creek, Moore
 Basin (NY and PA)                       waters of the East Branch Delaware      Sub-Basin 3: Lehigh River             Creek, Fiddler Creek, Jacobs Creek,
    Drainage in Sub-basin 1 encom-       River, upstream from Pepacton           Watershed (PA)                        and Gold Run. Pennsylvania tribu-
 passes New York, Pennsylvania, and a    Reservoir.The Pennsylvania Depart-         The Lehigh River drainage area     taries include: Cooks Creek, Gallows
 very small part of New Jersey,          ment of Environmental Protection        encompasses 1,364 square miles,       Run,Tinicum Creek,Tohickon
 including tributaries entering the      contributed data from 6 samples in      entering the Delaware River at Eas-   Creek, Hickory Creek, Paunna-
 Delaware River above the U.S. Geo-      the Pennsylvania portion of Sub-        ton, Pa.Tributaries to the Lehigh     cussing Creek, Rabbit Run, Dark
 logical Survey (USGS) streamflow        basin 1.                                include:Tobyhanna Creek, Bear         Hollow Run, Pidcock Creek, Jeri-
 gauge at Montague, N.J., located at                                             Creek, Black Creek, Nesquehoning      cho Creek, Houghs Creek, Dyers
 the Delaware’s river mile (RM)          Sub-Basin 2: Middle                     Creek, Mahoning Creek, Pohopoco       Creek, and Buck Creek.The
 246.3.The approximate drainage          Delaware (NJ and PA)                    Creek, Lizard Creek, Aquashicola      Tinicum Conservancy and DRBC
 area totals 3,422 square miles. In          Drainage in New Jersey and          Creek, Hokendaqua Creek, Little       staff performed the bulk of the 19
 New York, the major tributaries to      Pennsylvania occurs between the         Lehigh Creek, Monocacy Creek,         sampling events in Sub-basin 4—a
 the Delaware River include: East        streamflow gauge at Montague, N.J.      and Saucon Creek. Led by the          73 percent increase over 1997.
 Branch Delaware River,West              (RM 246.3), and the gauge at            Tobyhanna Creek Watershed Associ-
 Branch Delaware River, Callicoon        Riegelsville, N.J. (RM 174.8), and      ation and the schools associated      Sub-Basin 5: Upper Estuary
 Creek,Tenmile River, Mongaup            excludes the Lehigh River water-        with the Jacobsburg Environmental     Tributaries (PA)
 River, and the Neversink River. In      shed.The approximate drainage area      Education Center, 59 sampling            This is the drainage area in Penn-
 Pennsylvania, major tributaries         is 1,542 square miles. In New Jersey,   events were recorded in 1998, a 44    sylvania between the Trenton gauge



6
(RM 134.3) and the Pennsylvania–       utaries to the Delaware River          ity.Twenty-two streams were sam-      miles. Major tributaries to the
Delaware state boundary near Mar-      include: Darby Creek, Crum Creek,      pled in Sub-basin 5.                  Schuylkill River include:West
cus Hook, Pa. (RM 78.8).This sub-      Ridley Creek, Chester Creek, and                                             Branch Schuylkill River, Little
basin excludes the Schuylkill River    Marcus Hook Creek. A total of 61       Sub-Basin 6: Schuylkill               Schuylkill River, Maiden Creek,
watershed above Fairmount Dam in       sampling events were recorded in       River Watershed (PA)                  Tulpehocken Creek, Manatawny
Philadelphia, Pa.The confluence of     1998 (42 in 5A and 19 in 5B)—             This is the Schuylkill River       Creek, French Creek, Pickering
the Schuylkill into the Delaware       fewer in 5B than in 1997. In 5A, 11    watershed above Fairmount
(RM 92.5) divides Sub-basin 5 into     samples were taken from the            Dam in Philadelphia, Pa.The
minor basins 5A (upstream of the       Delaware River, many in the Bristol,   Schuylkill River empties into
Schuylkill) and 5B (downstream of      Pa., area, including those collected   the Delaware River at RM
the Schuylkill).The approximate        during sailings of the A.J. Meerwald   92.5. Fairmount Dam is
combined drainage area of Sub-         (see also Sub-basin 7A).The            located at Schuylkill River
basin 5 is 678 square miles.Tribu-     Neshaminy Creek basin was sam-         Mile 8.5. Below Fairmount
taries to the Delaware River located   pled 11 times, by the Riverkeeper      Dam, the Schuylkill River is       Distribution of
in Sub-basin 5A include: Mill          Network, Charles Boehm Middle          tidal and different in character   Sampling Events
                                                                                                                 by Sub-basin
Creek, Neshaminy Creek, Poquess-       School, Neshaminy High School,         from the upstream drainage
ing Creek, Pennypack Creek, and        Philadelphia Suburban Water Co.,       area.The approximate
Frankford Creek. Sub-basin 5B trib-    and the North Penn Water Author-       drainage area is 1,893 square



               State Distribution of Water Snapshot ’98 Sampling
  As in the past, the majority of streams and lakes sampled were in the Pennsylvania
  portion of the basin, as was the number of sampling events. Of the 221 sites sam-
  pled, 136 (62 percent) were in Pennsylvania, 20 more than in 1997. The number of
  New Jersey sites sampled rose 100 percent, increasing from 23 to 47; the number
  in Delaware increased by a third; and New York was stable.
  Basin States      % and Number of Sampling Events             Number of Sites Sampled
                      1996      1997        1998                   1997        1998
  Pennsylvania          51%            67%      64% (313)            116      136 (62%)
  Delaware               7%             9%       7% (34)              17       23 (10%)
  New York              13%            10%       4% (18)              16       15 (7%)
  New Jersey            28%            13%      25% (125)             23       47 (21%)

  TOTAL                 99%            99%      100% (490)           172      221 (100%)



                                                                                                                                                      7
    Creek, Perkiomen Creek (including      times and was ranked number 1. In      Department led the way in the            1,019 square miles.Tributaries to the
    Unami Creek, Swamp Creek, East         1998 it was first again with 94 sam-   number of samples collected.             Delaware River in Sub-basin 7A
    Branch Perkiomen Creek, and Skip-      plings.Thirty-nine tributary streams                                            include: Crosswicks Creek, Blacks
    pack Creek), and Wissahickon           were sampled, down from 49; the        Sub-Basin 7: Upper                       Creek, Crafts Creek, Assiscunk
    Creek. In 1996, the Schuylkill River   main stem Schuylkill River was         Estuary Tributaries (NJ)                 Creek, Rancocas Creek, Swede
    was under-represented in sampling      sampled 18 times.The Schuylkill           In New Jersey, this is the drainage   Run, Pompeston Creek, Pennsauken
    effort (the main stem was sampled      River Greenway Association and the     area located between the USGS            Creek, Pohack Creek, Baldwin
    just once). In 1997, the Schuylkill    Montgomery County Health               gauge at Trenton (RM 134.3) and          Run, Cooper River, Newton Creek,
    River watershed was sampled 88                                                the point opposite the Pennsylva-        Big Timber Creek, and Woodbury
                                                                                  nia–Delaware state boundary (RM          Creek. Sub-basin 7B tributaries
                                                                                  78.8) at Nortonville, N.J., which is     include: Little Mantua Creek, Man-
                                                                                  just seaward of the mouth of Rac-        tua Creek, Clonmell Creek, Nehon-
                                                                                  coon Creek. Sub-basin 7 is divided       sey Brook, Repaupo Creek, and
                                                                                  into Sub-basins 7A and 7B at a           Raccoon Creek. Sub-basin 7 expe-
                                                                                  point just seaward of the mouth of       rienced the biggest jump overall in
                                                                                  Woodbury Creek in New Jersey             the number of sampling events
                                                                                  (RM 91.6).The approximate com-           going from 19 in 1997 to 85 in
                                                                                  bined drainage area of Sub-basin 7 is    1998. All but 5 occurred in 7A.The
                                                                                                                           Pond Road Middle School in Rob-
                                                                                                                           binsville, N.J., gathered a bunch of
                                                                                                  FAR LEFT: Michael        samples on Miry Run and the
                                                                                                  Ambrose, a stu-          Assunpink.The Delaware Bay
                                                                                                  dent in the sixth        schooner A.J. Meerwald was used for
                                                                                                  grade at Lower
                                                                                                                           some concentrated sampling of the
                                                                                                  Nazareth
                                                                                                  Elementry                Delaware River around Burlington,
                                                                                                  School, works            N.J. EPA Region III and DRBC
                                                                                                  the net as his           staff contributed Delaware River
                                                                                                  classmate Emma           data as well.The Camden County
                                                                                                  Belcastro turns
                                                                                                                           Department of Health contributed
                                                                                                  the rocks in
                                                                                                  search of watery         data on 17 events from the Cooper
                                                                                                  critters.                River, Pennsauken Creek, Big Tim-
                                                                                  INSET:Emma Belcastro checks              ber Creek, and others.Twenty-nine
                                                                                  the pH of Engler Creek, a fast-          streams, or 13 percent of all the
                                                                                  moving stream that runs through          streams sampled, were in Sub-basin
                                                                                  the forest in Jacobsburg                 7. For the first time data were con-
                                                                                  Environmental Education Center.          tributed from sites in the Mantua



8
Creek watershed (7B), thanks to the        Branch Brandywine Creek, East          Sub-Basin 9: Lower                       events on 5 water bodies were
Mantua Creek Watershed Association.        Branch Brandywine Creek, and the       Estuary Tributaries (NJ)                 recorded in 1998; 6 of the events
                                           Brandywine Creek.Three more col-          In New Jersey, this is the drainage   were on the Delaware River.The
Sub-Basin 8: Brandywine–                   lections were made in 1998 vs. 1997    area between Delaware River RM           Salem County Watershed Task Force
White Clay-Christina (PA, DE)              for a total of 26, 19 of which came    78.8 at Nortonville, N.J., and the       sampled Alloways Creek, Salem
   This is the drainage area in Penn-      from the Delaware portion.The          mouth of the Delaware River (head        River, and Oldmans Creek.
sylvania and Delaware between the          Delaware Nature Society and            of Delaware Bay) at Hope Creek
Pennsylvania–Delaware state bound-         Delaware Stream Watch collected        Monument (opposite Liston Point,         Sub-Basin 10: Lower
ary at Marcus Hook, Pa. (RM 78.8),         the bulk of the samples in Delaware,   Del.) at RM 48.2.The approximate         Estuary Tributaries (DE)
and a point just seaward of the            while the Brandywine Valley Associ-    drainage area of Sub-basin 9 is 257         In Delaware, this is the drainage
mouth of the Christina River in            ation collected nearly all of those    square miles.Tributaries include:        area from a point just seaward of
Delaware (RM 70.7).The approxi-            from Sub-basin 8 PA. Seventeen dif-    Oldmans Creek, Salem River, and          the mouth of the Christina River
mate drainage area is 591 square           ferent streams were sampled.           Alloways Creek. Nine sampling            (RM 70.7) to the mouth of the
miles.Tributaries include: Naaman’s
Creek, Christina River,White Clay
Creek, Red Clay Creek,West




                                            Brent Eyler, from the
                                        LEFT:
                                        Glenside Weldon Environ-
                                        mental Science Club,
                                        checks Secchi depth at
                                        Sandy Run.
                                        RIGHT:  Water Snapshot ’98
                                        monitors take a break
                                        from sampling at Eshbach
                                        Boat Launch, eight miles
                                        south of Dingmans Ferry
                                        Bridge off of Pennsylvania
                                        Route 209. Left to right:
                                        Noelle Kalipetis, Katie
                                        Koenig, Elizabeth Brune,
                                        Jillian Van Winkle,
                                        Victoria Turso, Rose
                                        Indoe, and Kellyanne
                                        Tomasula.




                                                                                                                                                                  9
 Delaware River (head of Delaware      10 include: Red Lion Creek,           Hope Creek Monument (head of          rice River, which is included in the
 Bay) at Liston Point (RM 48.2).       Dragon Creek, C&D Canal, Augus-       Delaware Bay) at RM 48.2 to the       National Wild and Scenic Rivers
 This sub-basin is broken into minor   tine Creek, Appoquinimink River,      mouth of Delaware Bay at Cape         System, was sampled twice, once by
 Sub-basins 10A and 10B at the         Hangmans Run, and Blackbird           May, N.J. (RM 0). Sub-basin 11 is     the Riverkeeper Network and once
 Chesapeake & Delaware Canal           Creek.                                divided into minor basins 11A and     by the Salem County Watershed
 (RM 58.9).The approximate com-                                              11B, just below the confluence of     Task Force.The Cohansey River
 bined drainage area of Sub-basin 10   Sub-Basin 11: Delaware                the Maurice River (RM 21.02).The      watershed, which includes the town
 is 166 square miles.Tributaries to    Bay Tributaries (NJ)                  combined drainage area of Sub-        of Bridgeton, N.J., was sampled just
 the Delaware Estuary in Sub-basin        In New Jersey, this sub-basin      basin 11 is 769 square miles.Tribu-   once.
                                       includes the drainage area from the   taries to Delaware Bay located in
                                                                             Sub-basin 11 include: Stowe Creek,    Sub-Basin 12: Delaware
                                                                             Cohansey River, Cedar Creek, Nan-     Bay Tributaries (DE)
                                                                             tuxent Creek, Oranoaken Creek,            In Delaware, this sub-basin
                                                                             Dividing Creek, Maurice River,        includes the drainage area between
                                                                             West Creek, Dennis Creek, Fishing     the head of Delaware Bay at Liston
                                                                             Creek, and the Cape May Canal.        Point (RM 48.2) and the mouth of
                                                                             Five sampling events occurred in      Delaware Bay at Cape Henlopen
                                                                             Sub-basin 11, all in 11A.The Mau-     (RM 0). Sub-basin 12 is divided into
                                                                                                                   minor basins 12A and 12B at a point
                                                                                                                   just seaward of the St. Jones River
                                                                                                                   (RM 23.7).The combined drainage
                                                                                                                   area of Sub-basin 12 is 612 square
                                                                                                                   miles.Tributaries to Delaware Bay in
                                                                                                                   Sub-basin 12 include: Smyrna River,
                                                                                                                   Leipsic River, Mahon River, Little
 RIGHT:Kim Reynolds                                                                                                River, St. Jones River, Murderkill
 and Lauren Zito, from                                                                                             River, Mispillion River, Broadkill
 the Glenside Weldon                                                                                               Creek, and Roosevelt Inlet (entrance
 Environmental Science                                                                                             to the Lewes & Rehoboth Canal).
 Club, perform a dis-
 solved oxygen test at                                                                                             Thirteen collections were taken from
 Sandy Run.                                                                                                        sites located in Sub-basin 12, 4 from
 FAR RIGHT:The stu-
                                                                                                                   the Delaware River.Ten different
 dents from Lower                                                                                                  water bodies were sampled.The
 Nazareth Elementary                                                                                               Delaware Department of Natural
 School couldn’t keep                                                                                              Resources and Environmental Con-
 Thor out of the water!                                                                                            trol collected most of the samples.
                                                                                                                   Connie Belisle and the Milford Mid-
                                                                                                                   dle School contributed data as well.

10
Water Quality Findings—
Basinwide                                                                                               water. Most fish and other aquatic                                     differences revealed during long-
                                                                                                        life require specific temperature                                      term monitoring.
                 ncluded in the water quality data         ings throughout the Delaware River           ranges to thrive.Temperature affects
                 form used by the participants of          Basin.                                       the concentration of oxygen that                                       Dissolved Oxygen
              Water Snapshot ’98 between April 17                                                       can be dissolved in water, with                                           The amount of oxygen that can
              and 26, 1998, are spaces for water           Water Temperature                            higher concentrations occurring                                        be dissolved into water depends on
              temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH,              Temperature is an important               with colder temperatures. Some-                                        the temperature of the water. For
              nitrate, and phosphate (see Appendix         determinant of the biological com-           times, however, local conditions such                                  any given temperature, under natural
              C).This section presents their find-         munity that can exist in a body of           as weather patterns can mask real                                      conditions, a maximum level of oxy-

              Frequency of Water Temperature Values in the Delaware River Basin                         Frequency of Dissolved Oxygen Values in the Delaware River Basin
              Water Snapshot ’98 participants recorded water temperature 454 times, with a              Participants made 361 tests to determine dissolved oxygen concentrations in the basin’s waters.
              range in value from 1˚C (33.8˚F) to nearly 34˚C (93.2˚F). The majority of the             The results ranged from lower than 1 to as high as 40 mg/l (single values), with 86 percent
              recordings—85 percent—were between 9˚C (48˚F) and 16˚C (61˚F). There was                  between 7 and 13 mg/l. Many of the low values seem to occur in the mid-part of the basin (Sub-
              no readily apparent pattern to the data as far as the location of the high and low val-   basins 5, 6, and 7) in developed areas. Saturation levels at some of these sites ranged from 20 to
              ues in the basin or within a watershed. Local conditions, such as the time of sampling    60 percent. Oxygen levels greater than 13 mg/l seem to be found more in Sub-basins 2, 4, 5A,
              and preceding weather conditions, will serve to mask real differences that would          and 6, including a few on the mainstem Delaware River. Saturation levels rose to as high as 150
              show up over longer periods of monitoring. Overall, temperatures ran higher (aver-        percent at these locations, indicating supersaturation. The average of all samples was 9.9 mg/l,
              age 12.8˚C, or 55˚F) than in 1997 (10.9˚C, or 51.6˚F), but closer to 1996 (13.6˚C,        which at the average temperature of 12.8˚C (55°F) yields a 97 percent level of oxygen satura-
              or 56.5˚F).                                                                               tion, in agreement with the pattern of temperature and oxygen levels seen in 1996 and 1997.

                     140                                                                                                      180
                                                                          °F = (°C x 1.8) + 32
                                                                                                                              160
                     120
                                                                                                                              140
Number of Readings




                     100                                                                                 Number of Readings
                                                                                                                              120

                     80                                                                                                       100

                     60                                                                                                        80

                                                                                                                               60
                     40
                                                                                                                               40
                     20
                                                                                                                               20

                      0                                                                                                         0
                                  1

                         2. 6

                         4. .1

                         5. .7

                         7. .2
                        8. 8.8
                       10 10.3

                       12 11.9

                       13 13.5

                       15 15.0

                       16 6.6

                       18 18.1

                       19 19.7

                       21 21.2

                       22 22.8

                       24 24.4

                       26 25.9

                                  1

                                  e




                                                                                                                                    6


                                                                                                                                             7


                                                                                                                                                      7


                                                                                                                                                               8


                                                                                                                                                                        9


                                                                                                                                                                                   0


                                                                                                                                                                                              0


                                                                                                                                                                                                         1


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2


                                                                                                                                                                                                                               3


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                              or




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                                                                                                                                                                     8.


                                                                                                                                                                                1.


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                                                                                                                                                                                                      5.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                 7.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9.
                               4

                              5

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                            <
                           1–

                           7–

                           2–

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                            -1




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                                                                                                                                                 8-


                                                                                                                                                          8-


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   m
                          9-

                            -

                            -

                            -



                            -

                            -

                            -

                            -

                            -

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                         .4

                         .0

                         .6

                         .1

                         .7

                         .2

                         .8

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                         .0




                                                                                                                                        0.


                                                                                                                                                 2.


                                                                                                                                                          4.


                                                                                                                                                                   6.


                                                                                                                                                                               0


                                                                                                                                                                                         .1


                                                                                                                                                                                                    .1


                                                                                                                                                                                                               .2


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          .3
                           1.




                                                                                                                                                                            9.


                                                                                                                                                                                       11


                                                                                                                                                                                                  13


                                                                                                                                                                                                             15


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        17
                                           Water Temperature, Degrees C                                                                                             Dissolved Oxygen, mg/l


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           11
                   gen can be dissolved in the water,            percent—of the saturation value                 tically lower the concentration of          tions in aquatic life.The exact
                   which is called the saturation value.         because of naturally occurring                  dissolved oxygen.                           requirement for dissolved oxygen
                   As the temperature of water rises, its        organic material in the water. Oxy-                 In general, dissolved oxygen lev-       varies by species, with some being
                   saturation value falls; if the tempera-       gen levels can rise above 100 per-              els above 6 milligrams per liter of         very tolerant and others being intol-
                   ture falls, the saturation value rises,       cent saturation temporarily when                water (6 mg/l)—equivalent to 6              erant of—and, thus, more susceptible
                   allowing greater concentrations of            aquatic plants produce oxygen dur-              parts oxygen to one million parts           to—the effects of water pollution.
                   dissolved oxygen.                             ing daytime photosynthesis. On the              water—provide full support of fish
                       In natural streams, the concentra-        deficit side, pollution by discharges           and other aquatic life. Levels of 4 or      pH
                   tion of oxygen generally will be              of oxygen-demanding materials like              5 mg/l are often acceptable, but lev-          pH is a measure of the acid/alka-
                   above 90 percent—but less than 100            improperly treated sewage can dras-             els lower than that lead to reduc-          line relationship in a water sample.

                   Frequency of pH Values in the Delaware River Basin                                            Distribution of Nitrate Concentrations in the Delaware River Basin
                   A total of 386 analyses for pH were performed in 1998, 11 percent more than in 1997.          Of the 299 nitrate analyses performed, 55 percent were 1.0 mg/l or lower, and 4
                   Eighty-seven percent of the pH samples fell between 6 and 9 units. Of the 13 percent          percent exceeded 10 mg/l. The bulk of the lowest values recorded were from Sub-
                   outside the range, only 3 exceeded 9 units, and these exhibited supersaturation of oxy-       basins 2 PA and 3 PA. Readings above 0.4 mg/l were often seen in the mid-portion
                   gen and a possible source of contamination. Of the 29 samples lower than 5.4, more            of the basin, in Sub-basins 6, 4, 8, and 7. The highest values, exceeding 35 mg/l,
                   than half were recorded by the Pond Road Middle School on Miry Run, a branch of the           were observed on tributaries to the Brodhead Creek (Sub-basin 2 PA) and around
                   Assunpink Creek in Sub-basin 7A NJ. A half dozen low values were recorded in Sub-             Dublin, Pa. (6 PA).
                   basin 3 PA, high in the Poconos in the tannic acid-rich Tunkhannock Creek area.


                          100                                                                                                     70

                          90
                                                                                                                                  60
                          80
     Number of Readings




                                                                                                             Number of Readings
                          70                                                                                                      50

                          60
                                                                                                                                  40
                          50
                                                                                                                                  30
                          40

                          30                                                                                                      20
                          20
                                                                                                                                  10
                          10

                           0                                                                                                       0
                                          1

                                  4. 4
                                  4. .7
                                  5. .1
                                  5. .4
                                  5. .8
                                  6. .1
                                  6. .5
                                  7. .9
                                  7. .2
                                  7. .6
                                  8. .9
                                  8. .3
                                  8. .7
                                  9. .0
                                  9. .4
                                 9. 9.7

                                  .2 1
                                          4
                                          e




                                                                                                                                         1- 0
                                                                                                                                        0. .2
                                                                                                                                        0. .4
                                                                                                                                        0. -.6
                                                                                                                                       0. 7-.8
                                                                                                                                       1. -1.0
                                                                                                                                       1. -1.2
                                                                                                                                       1. -1.4
                                                                                                                                       1. -1.6
                                                                                                                                       1. -1.8
                                                                                                                                       2. -2.0
                                                                                                                                       2. -2.2
                                                                                                                                       2. -2.4
                                                                                                                                       2. -2.6
                                                                                                                                       2. -2.8
                                                                                                                                       3. -3.0
                                                                                                                                       3. -3.2
                                                                                                                                       3. -3.4
                                                                                                                                       3. -3.6
                                                                                                                                       3. -3.8
                                                                                                                                       4. -4.0
                                                                                                                                       4. -4.2
                                                                                                                                       4. -4.4
                                                                                                                                       4. -4.6
                                                                                                                                       4. -4.8
                                                                                                                                       5. -5.0
                                                                                                                                       5. -5.2
                                                                                                                                       5. -5.4
                                                                                                                                       5. -5.6
                                                                                                                                       5. -5.8
                                                                                                                                        m .0
                                                                                                                                              e
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                                       4.




                                10 10.
                                       0.




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                                                                                                                                            6
                                       4
                                       5
                                       5
                                       5
                                       6
                                       6
                                       6
                                       7
                                       7
                                       7
                                       8
                                       8
                                       9
                                       9




                                                                                                                                          5




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                            <
                                    1-
                                    5-
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                                    4-
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                                    -1




                                                                                                                                         9
                                                                                                                                         1
                                                                                                                                         3
                                                                                                                                         5
                                                                                                                                         7
                                                                                                                                         9
                                                                                                                                         1
                                                                                                                                         3
                                                                                                                                         5
                                                                                                                                         7
                                                                                                                                         9
                                                                                                                                         1
                                                                                                                                         3
                                                                                                                                         5
                                                                                                                                         7
                                                                                                                                         9
                                                                                                                                         1
                                                                                                                                         3
                                                                                                                                         5
                                                                                                                                         7
                                                                                                                                         9
                                                                                                                                         1
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                                                                                                                                         7
                                    m
                                   8-




                                                                                                                                      0
                                4.




                                                                                                                                   0.




                                                              pH, units                                                                                   Nitrate, mg/l


12
            pH values range on a scale of zero        with low values experienced at            and tannic acid (produced by certain    undesirable plant growth with their
            to 14 units, with 7 being neutral. A      night and high values experienced at      vegetation).                            deleterious impacts on water quality,
            pH level of about 6 to 9 units is         midday.These swings are caused by             Values of pH below 6 should be      an appropriate level of nutrients is
            generally favored by aquatic life,        the plants’ consumption and release       viewed with concern, unless a natu-     one of the driving forces of the
            especially fish. Algae and rooted         of carbon dioxide. Instream pH lev-       ral condition exists that can explain   aquatic ecosystem.
            plants in a stream modify pH levels       els can also be affected by acid and      them. On the Pocono Plateau, in             Determining the optimum levels
            through the photosynthesis and res-       alkaline chemicals from industry,         the Tobyhanna & Tunkhannock             of these nutrients in water is ex-
            piration processes. If plants are         mining, and other man-made                Creek watersheds, the water is acidic   tremely complex. A concentration
            active, wide swings in pH levels can      sources, as well as by natural sources,   and appears tea-colored.The area is     of nitrate or phosphate that causes
            be observed over a 24-hour period,        such as limestone deposits (bedrock)      dominated by thick stands of pine,      problems in one stream might not
                                                                                                and the ground is boggy wetlands.       cause similar problems in another.
            Distribution of Phosphate Concentrations in the Delaware River Basin                The reason for low pH values in         Nitrate and phosphate levels are also
            Of the 301 phosphate analyses performed in the Delaware River Watershed, 82         these streams is the tannic acid from   complex because they are constantly
            percent were below 0.4 mg/l, and 17 percent were at zero. Ten percent of the        the pine trees.                         being taken up and released by
            values recorded were above 1.0 mg/l, and nearly all came from Sub-basins 5 PA,                                              aquatic life, being exchanged with
            6 PA, and 7A NJ.                                                                    Nitrate and Phosphate                   stream bed sediments, and undergo-
                                                                                                   Nitrogen and phosphorus are          ing various other transformations.
                                                                                                necessary for aquatic plant growth,         Natural nitrate concentrations
                                                                                                which in turn supports the rest of      rarely exceed 10 mg/l. Most are lower
                                                                                                the aquatic food chain. Both of         than 1 mg/l, especially during periods
                     225                                                                        these nutrients were sampled, and       of high plant production. Concentra-
                     200
                                                                                                recorded herein, as the concentra-      tions in drinking water higher than 20
                                                                                                tions of nitrate and phosphate, com-    mg/l may pose a health hazard to
                     175                                                                        mon compounds of nitrogen and           babies and other small mammals.
Number of Readings




                     150
                                                                                                phosphorus with oxygen.                     Man-made sources of phosphate
                                                                                                   These nutrients are derived from     include fertilizers, domestic sewage,
                     125                                                                        a variety of natural and artificial     and detergents. In natural unpol-
                     100
                                                                                                sources, including decomposition of     luted water, phosphate levels are
                                                                                                plant and animal materials, man-        generally very low, and its presence
                     75                                                                         made fertilizers, and sewage.While      usually determines the extent of
                     50                                                                         excessive nutrients might cause         plant growth.

                     25

                      0
                                    0

                            0. 1

                            0. 2

                            0. 3

                            0. 4

                            0. 5

                            0. 6

                            0. 7

                            0. 8
                                  -.9

                           1. -1

                           1. .1

                           1. .2

                           1. .3

                           1. .4

                           1. .5
                                   .6

                                     e
                                 or
                                 0.

                                 0.

                                  -.

                                  -.

                                  -.

                                  -.

                                  -.

                                  -.

                                  -.




                                -1

                                -1

                                -1

                                -1

                                -1

                                -1
                               91
                              11

                              21

                              31

                              41

                              51

                              61

                              71

                              81
                              1-




                              m
                             01

                             11

                             21

                             31

                             41

                             51
                             0.
                              0
                           0.




                                                Phosphate, mg/l


                                                                                                                                                                            13
Water Quality Findings—
Delaware River                                                                                                                                                                         the samples collected during 1998                                                                                     of times compared to 1997. During
                                                                                                                                                                                       were taken from the river, we now                                                                                     the first Water Snapshot in 1996, the
         mall headwater streams flow out                                                                somewhere along its route to the                                               focus on a picture of the river pre-                                                                                  river was sampled 48 times.The
         of springs, down mountainsides,                                                                Atlantic Ocean.The water quality of                                            sented by Water Snapshot ’98.                                                                                         1998 samples were analyzed by 14
      and through fields and wetlands to                                                                the mainstem Delaware River thus                                                  The Delaware River and Bay                                                                                         different entities, with Delaware’s
      join with other headwater streams.                                                                integrates water quality and other                                             were sampled 67 times at 56 differ-                                                                                   Department of Natural Resources
      These larger streams flow into other                                                              attributes of hundreds of watersheds                                           ent locations during 1998—an                                                                                          and Environmental Control, the
      streams, until ultimately a tributary                                                             that drain to it. In light of this role                                        increase in the number of locations,                                                                                  DRBC, and the oyster schooner
      flows into the Delaware River                                                                     and the fact that 14 percent of all                                            but a slight decrease in the number                                                                                   A.J. Meerwald gathering the most.

     Frequency of Water Temperature Values in the Delaware River                                                                                                                                                 Frequency of Dissolved Oxygen Values in the Delaware River
     River water temperature ranged between 10˚C (50˚F) and 20˚C (68˚F), with a                                                                                                                                  The dissolved oxygen values in 62 samplings ranged from 6.2 to 13.8 mg/l. Levels
     slight increase proceeding from the upper reaches of the nontidal section, down to                                                                                                                          were in the ranges of 9–11 mg/l in the reach upstream from the Delaware Water
     Trenton (RM 133). In the tidal river and bay (RM 133–0), the temperature was a                                                                                                                              Gap, and 11–13 mg/l in the reach from the Gap to Trenton. Downstream from
     couple of degrees higher than in the nontidal reach. This pattern is similar to those                                                                                                                       Trenton and through most of the tidal river, levels dipped into the 8–9 range in mid-
     of 1996 and 1997. The extremely tight band of temperatures at 14˚C (57.2˚F)                                                                                                                                 channel samples—the effects of warmer water, the discharge of oxygen-demanding
     between RM 110 and RM 30 was recorded by the Delaware Department of                                                                                                                                         wastewater, and stormwater runoff. As in the past, dissolved oxygen levels dipped
     Natural Resources and Environmental Control during a one-day boat run up the                                                                                                                                downriver from Wilmington, Del., around RM 66, in this sampling falling below 80
     center of the channel.                                                                                                                                                                                      percent. Saturation levels were in the 90 percent range in the upper tidal river, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 near and above 100 percent in the Upper Delaware.


            25                                                                                                                                                                                                  16
                                                                                                                                 °F = (°C x 1.8) + 32
                                                                                                                                                                                                                14
            20                                                                                                                                                                         Dissolved Oxygen, mg/l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                12
Degrees C




                                                                                                                                                                                                                10
            15

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 8

            10
                                                                     Delaware Water Gap




                                                                                                                                                                                                                 6




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Delaware Water Gap
                                                                                                                                                                      Atlantic Ocean




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Atlantic Ocean
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 4
                             Narrowsburg




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Narrowsburg
                                                                                                                        Philadelphia


                                                                                                                                        Wilmington




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Philadelphia
                                                                                                                                                     D&C Canal




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wilmington

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     D&C Canal
             5
                                                 Port Jervis




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Port Jervis
                 Hancock




                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Hancock
                                                                                                             Trenton




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Trenton
                                                                                          Easton




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Easton
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 2

             0                                                                                                                                                                                                   0
                           300             275   250           225               200         175       150     125     100             75                 50     25         0                                                  300             275       250       225                        200            175   150             125   100            75                       50   25             0

                                                                                                   River Mile                                                                                                                                                                                       River Mile


14
                  Frequency of pH Values in the Delaware River                                                                                                                                                                                    Distribution of Phosphate Concentrations in the Delaware River
                  Participants determined the pH of the river in 62 samplings, producing a fairly                                                                                                                                                 Participants determined the concentration of phosphate in the Delaware River
                  tight range of values along the length of the river, from a low of 6.6 to a high                                                                                                                                                on 39 occasions. Most values were lower than 0.05 mg/l. The nontidal reach
                  of 8.1 units. There appeared to be no link between the pH values observed                                                                                                                                                       produced values around 0.02 mg/l, except for a few that were tenfold higher.
                  and the photosynthetic activity of plants in the nontidal reach (as speculated                                                                                                                                                  Values in the tidal reach were slightly higher at around 0.04, but were lower
                  in Water Snapshot ’97), nor indications of pollution incidents. As in Water                                                                                                                                                     again down in the bay. Estuary values were two- to threefold lower than in
                  Snapshot ’96, a slight rise occurred in the bay area.                                                                                                                                                                           1997 and five- to tenfold lower than in 1996.
                  10                                                                                                                                                                                                                              0.35




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Hancock

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Narrowsburg



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Port Jervis




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Delaware Water Gap


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Easton




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Trenton



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Philadelphia



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Wilmington

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              D&C Canal




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Atlantic Ocean
                   9
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   0.3
                   8

                   7                                                                                                                                                                                                                              0.25




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Phosphate, mg/l
     pH (units)




                   6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  0.20
                   5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  0.15
                   4
                                                                                    Delaware Water Gap




                   3                                                                                                                                                                                                                              0.10




                                                                                                                                                                                                               Atlantic Ocean
                                       Narrowsburg




                                                                                                                                                        Philadelphia



                                                                                                                                                                         Wilmington

                                                                                                                                                                                       D&C Canal
                   2
                                                             Port Jervis
                         Hancock




                                                                                                                                      Trenton




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  0.05
                                                                                                                Easton




                   1

                   0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                0
                                   300               275        250        225                           200             175   150              125    100             75                          50   25                0                                        300            275                 250   225                        200            175   150             125   100            75                       50    25           0
                                                                                                               River Mile                                                                                                                                                                                                                    River Mile
                  9
                      Hancock

                                     Narrowsburg




                                                           Port Jervis




                                                                                 Delaware Water Gap


                                                                                                               Easton




                                                                                                                                     Trenton



                                                                                                                                                      Philadelphia



                                                                                                                                                                       Wilmington

                                                                                                                                                                                      D&C Canal




                  8                                                                                                                                                                                          Atlantic Ocean

                  7
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Distribution of Nitrate Concentrations in the Delaware River
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  During 50 sampling events of the Delaware River in 1998, nitrate concentra-
Nitrate, mg/l




                  6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tions lower than 1.0 mg/l were detected in the nontidal section. However,
                  5                                                                                                                                                                                                                               concentrations downstream of Trenton in the tidal river increased nearly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sevenfold in the estuary, before declining in the upper bay. Decreases in
                  4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nitrate concentrations in the upper section of Delaware Bay (after mile 55)
                  3                                                                                                                                                                                                                               are due to dilution by seawater, as seen in 1996 and 1997.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In the past, ammonia forms of nitrogen dominated the Delaware Estuary.
                  2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Today, the upgrading of wastewater treatment plants has resulted in a sys-
                  1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tem dominated by nitrate—a good trend. Delran Middle School students
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  recorded the highest (8) and lowest (0) values on successive days while
                  0                                                                                                                                                                                                                               aboard the A.J. Meerwald at RM 118.
                                   300               275       250         225                        200                175   150              125   100              75                          50   25             0
                                                                                                               River Mile


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               15
Visual
Assessment Results                                                               picture produced by the visual            Creek, East Br. (1 PA), Frame Cabin
                                                                                 assessment.                               Run (Tobyhanna Creek Watershed,
      t the suggestion of Pennsylvania       This new element makes it easier        Participants performed the visual     3 PA), Spruce Mt. Run (2 PA), and
      Department of Environmental        for first-time volunteers to partici-   assessment during 285 of the sampling     Tohickon Creek (4 PA).The
 Protection staff, the Water Snapshot    pate, supplements the data produced     events, or on nearly 60 percent of the    Schuylkill River at Tuscorora, Pa. (6
 ’98 planning committee decided to       by traditional water chemistry mon-     outings, and 162 different streams were   PA) received the lowest rating of all
 include a new element to the tools      itoring methods, and provides           assessed at one or more locations.        streams, with 4 Poor and 3 Marginal
 used in Water Snapshot. Participants    insight into the effects of land use    Three quarters of the streams were        scores.The Schuylkill River Green-
 were asked to perform a visual          on the basin’s small streams.The        rated as Excellent or Good in all seven   way Association noted the presence
 assessment of physical conditions in    response to its inclusion was posi-     categories.Twenty-three percent were      of a pipe discharging raw sewage at
 the stream and stream corridor in       tive, and opens up the possibility of   rated Excellent in the Overall Rating     the site and gray-colored stream
 seven categories and to rate the        volunteer involvement in future         category, and 4 percent as Poor.          water … yet a small trout and a
 water quality according to criteria     long-term stream corridor monitor-          Only four streams were rated as       wood duck nest were in the same
 on the data sheet (see Appendix C).     ing studies in the basin. Here’s the    Excellent in all categories: Dyberry      area!
                                                                                                                               The visual assessment proved to
                                                                                                                           be a very effective tool and raises
                                                                                                                           the possibility of citizens making
                                                                                                                           important future contributions to



                                                                                                          Students from Pond Road School test the waters
                                                                                                          and review the data they recorded.




16
                                                           RIGHT: A moment of hilarity is shared by
studies of our stream corridors. For
                                                           DRBC staffers Anne Zamonski, Pamela
example, volunteers might be asked                         Merritt, and one of Water Snapshot’s
to keep records of periodic meas-                          creators, Richard Albert, as Water
urements of the distance between a                         Snapshot ’98 co-author Susan Weisman
stream and special survey stakes.                          dons her huge yellow boots to step into
                                                           the Delaware River at Milford Beach, Pa.
    The DRBC would also like
Water Snapshot participants to track                       BELOW, RIGHT:   Ann Schnur uses a kick net
                                                           to identify macroinvertebrates in
down photos showing a known
                                                           Ontelaunee (Maiden) Creek, south of
stream as it appeared in the past.The                      Mosserville, Pa., in Lehigh County. Visual
older the picture, the better. Old                         assessment of the stream 50 yards
deeds showing the center line of a                         upstream and 50 yards downstream of
stream are also welcome. For now,                          the site yielded Excellent ratings on
                                                           instream cover (habitat for fish and
we’re just asking you to be on the                         aquatic organisms), fine-particle sedi-
lookout for these “real” photos.This                       ments (rocks in the stream are not sur-
activity is at a very early stage of                       rounded by fine sediments), and flow patterns (four
development.We’ll provide details as                       velocity/depth patterns present). However, other factors
soon as we develop it further.                             lowered the overall rating to Good: condition of banks and
                                                           coverage (some small areas of erosion, mostly healed over),
                                                           some disruption to the streambank, and some litter.
                                                           (Photo: J. Snidisky, Schuylkill River Greenway Association)


                      Results of the Visual Assessment (% of streams assessed)
 One of the results from the negative side of the visual assessment is the fact that 41 percent of the
 streams analyzed received Marginal or Poor ratings due to the narrowness of the vegetated riparian
 zone. On the positive side, 82 percent of the streams have Good or Excellent habitat for aquatic
 biota (instream cover), and 77 percent received Good or Excellent ratings for the absence of litter.
 Sampling Category                      Excellent   Good      Marginal           Poor             Total
 Instream Cover                            37        45         13                 5               100
 Fine Sediment                             23        53         12                12               100
 Flow Patterns                             25        35         29                11               100
 Bank Condition                            27        57         12                 4               100
 Disruption of Riparian Zone               33        47         14                 6               100
 Width of Riparian Zone                    24        35         26                15               100
 Litter                                    33        44         19                 4               100
 OVERALL RATING                            23        55             18              4             100



                                                                                                                         17
All the data are in. Water
Snapshot ’98 has been developed,
and the image is clear:The public’s
interest in monitoring water
quality in the Delaware Basin
continues to grow, and the quality
of the water throughout most of
the basin is very good overall.
Our many thanks to all Water
Snapshot participants.We look
forward to your future involvement
in producing report cards on the
health of the Delaware River and
the waterways in its drainage area.
Appendix A
20 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 21
22 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 23
24 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 25
26 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 27
28 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 29
30 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 31
32 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 33
34 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 35
36 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 37
38 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 39
40 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 41
42 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 43
44 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 45
46 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A 47
48 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix A
Appendix B
50 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix B
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix B 51
52 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix B
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix B 53
54 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix B
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix B 55
56 Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix B
Water Snapshot ’98 Appendix B 57
Appendix C

								
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