State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007DE110B
Title: Assessment of baseline water quality and influent pollutant source identification in the Noxontown Pond Watershed, Middletown, DE
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 6/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2008
Congressional District: At large
Focus Categories: Non Point Pollution, Nutrients, Toxic Substances
Keywords: surface water quality, agricultural and suburban runoff, nutrients
Principal Investigators: Inamdar, Shreeram; Kiracofe, Nathan
Federal Funds: $ 1,750
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 3,500
Abstract: The Noxontown Pond in Middletown is a 160 acre pond that drains into the Appoquinimink River and is currently surrounded by agricultural land, the St. Andrews School, and suburban development. The pond is currently being affected by non-point pollution sources, particularly excess nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) pollution. The high nutrient concentrations in the pond are thought to originate from runoff from the land surrounding the pond. Specifically, the agricultural areas on both the eastern and western side of the pond are suspected nutrient sources due the use of fertilizers, such as ammonia. While agricultural lands are known potential sources, it is possible that suburban developments are nutrient sources as well. These nutrient increases are problematic because they lead to algae blooms that can cause eutrophication, which can ultimately lead to potentially negative ecosystem effects. Also, because this pond drains into the Appoquinimink River the pollutants affecting the Noxontown pond have the potential to spread further and impact other bodies of water. This specific objectives of this project are: (1) Identify the overall baseline water quality of the Noxontown pond and compare these findings to aquatic water quality standards; (2) Investigate the contributing tributaries of the pond to find the specific pollutant influent sources in order to identify the influence of land use on the nutrient levels in the pond; (3) Investigate the impact of pelletized poultry litter versus fertilizer on water quality through a plot scale rainfall runoff study.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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