State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008AR191B
Title: Spatial and historical distribution of Geosmin and MIB producers in Beaver Reservoir, northwest Arkansas
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: 3
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Ecology, Toxic Substances
Keywords: reservoir, odor and taste, cyanobacteria, nutrients, MIB, Geosmin, CCA, diatoms, paleolimnology
Principal Investigators: Hausmann, Sonja (University of Arkansas); Boss, Stephen K. (Dept. of Geosciences); Davis, Ralph K (University of Arkansas)
Federal Funds: $ 25,423
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 50,846
Abstract: Taste and odor issues are a major problem for water districts and municipalities worldwide. Each Fall Beaver Reservoir, northwest Arkansas' primary drinking water supply, experiences episodic intervals of bad taste and odor. Efforts to eradicate the primary compounds, Geosmin and Methyl-Isoborneol (MIB), such as ozonation, filtration and watershed management have been marginally successful. One of the major problems associated with eradicating taste and odor is that the source and mechanisms of production are poorly understood. During 2007 we sampled for MIB, Geosmin, and phytoplankton and actinomycetes species abundance. The latter were merely present. Additionally, water quality parameters such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, nutrients and dissolved solids were assessed. In year one we found significant relationships between MIB and the cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (r = 0.75, n = 12, p < 0.005), the diatom Asterionella formosa and the gold-brown algae Chryosococcus sp. (r = 0.91, r = 0.83, n = 12, p < 0.0005). The latter two are known as taste and odor producers and leave silica remains in the sediments. Additionally, the environment-algae relationship that exists at the intake site also seems to be present within two major arms that feed the lake. In year two we want to study the MIB, environment-algae relationship in the two arms and add a paleolimnological study of a sediment core. The projected study of the arms will allow us to compare the spatial and temporal production of MIB in order to develop a more complete understanding of taste and odor episodes in the reservoir. The paleolimnological study will allow us to understand how historic activities in the catchment may have influenced the water quality of the reservoir.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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