USGS

Water Quality in the Lower Tennessee River Basin

Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Georgia, 1999–2001

 

U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1233

 

By Michael D. Woodside, Anne B. Hoos, James A. Kingsbury, Jeffrey R. Powell, Rodney R. Knight, Jerry W. Garrett, Reavis L. Mitchell III, and John A. Robinson

 

This circular is available as a pdf.


Abstract

This report contains the major findings of a 1999–2001 assessment of water quality in the Lower Tennessee River Basin. It is one of a series of reports by the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program that present major findings in 51 major river basins and aquifer systems across the Nation.

 

In these reports, water quality is discussed in terms of local, State, and regional issues. Conditions in a particular basin or aquifer system are compared to conditions found elsewhere and to selected national benchmarks, such as those for drinking-water quality and the protection of aquatic organisms.

 

This report is intended for individuals working with water-resource issues in Federal, State, or local agencies, universities, public interest groups, or in the private sector. The information will be useful in addressing a number of current issues, such as the effects of agricultural and urban land use on water quality, human health, drinking water, source-water protection, hypoxia and excessive growth of algae and plants, pesticide registration, and monitoring and sampling strategies. This report is also for individuals who wish to know more about the quality of streams and ground water in areas where they live, and how that water quality compares to the quality of water in other areas across the Nation.

 

The water-quality conditions in the Lower Tennessee River Basin summarized in this report are discussed in detail in other reports that can be accessed from the Lower Tennessee River Basin Web site (http://tn.water.usgs.gov/lten/lten.html). Detailed technical information, data and analyses, collection and analytical methodology, models, graphs, and maps that support the findings presented in this report in addition to reports in this series from other basins can be accessed from the national NAWQA Web site (http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa).


Contents

NATIONAL WATER-QUALITY ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

INTRODUCTION TO THE LOWER TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN

MAJOR FINDINGS

Ecology

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Agricultural Land Use Affects Aquatic Insects

Bacteria

Nutrients

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Nitrogen in the Tennessee River Contributes to Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Natural Deposits of Phosphatic Limestone Are a Major Source of Phosphorus in Some Streams

NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Nitrate Concentrations in Streams and Ground Water Generally Are Similar to the National Median

Pesticides

NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Pesticide Detections in the Lower Tennessee River Basin Were Higher than National Results

Volatile Organic Compounds

Fish Tissue

STUDY UNIT DESIGN

REFERENCES

GLOSSARY

APPENDIX—WATER-QUALITY DATA FROM THE LOWER TENNESSEE RIVER BASIN IN A NATIONAL CONTEXT


Points of Contact and Additional Information

 

The companion Web site for NAWQA summary reports:

 

http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/nawqa_sumr.html

 

Lower Tennessee River Basin contact and Web site:

USGS State Representative

U.S. Geological Survey

Water Resources Discipline

640 Grassmere Park, Suite 100

Nashville, TN 37211

e-mail: dc_tn@usgs.gov

http://tn.water.usgs.gov/lten/tenn.html

 

National NAWQA Program:

Chief, NAWQA Program
U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Discipline
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M.S. 413
Reston, VA 20192

http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/

 

For sale by

 

U.S. Geological Survey,

Information Services
Box 25286, Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225

 

For more information about the USGS and its products:


Telephone: 1-888-ASK-USGS
World Wide Web: http://www.usgs.gov/


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The text and graphics are presented here in pdf format (print quality). The full report is 28.4MB.

 

If you have Adobe® Acrobat® or Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® installed on your computer, you may view and print the PDF version of this report. Acrobat Reader, is a free download it from Adobe Systems, Inc.  Users with disabilities can view information concerning accessibility at access.adobe.com.

 

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