Georgia Water Science Center

USGS Fact Sheet 2005-3126

The U.S. Geological Survey and City of Atlanta Water-Quality and Water-Quantity Monitoring Network

This report is available online in pdf format (1 MB): USGS FS 2005-3126 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. )

Arthur J. Horowitz and W. Brian Hughes

U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2005-3126, 4 pages (Published April 2006)


Population growth and urbanization affect the landscape, and the quality and quantity of water in nearby rivers and streams, as well as downstream receiving waters (Ellis, 1999). Typical impacts include: (1) disruption of the hydrologic cycle through increases in the extent of impervious surfaces (e.g., roads, roofs, sidewalks) that increase the velocity and volume of surface-water runoff; (2) increased chemical loads to local and downstream receiving waters from industrial sources, nonpoint-source runoff, leaking sewer systems, and sewer overflows; (3) direct or indirect soil contamination from industrial sources, power-generating facilities, and landfills; and (4) reduction in the quantity and quality of aquatic habitats.

The City of Atlanta’s monitoring network consists of 21  long-term sites. Eleven of these are “fully instrumented” to provide real-time data on water temperature, pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, turbidity (intended as a surrogate for suspended sediment concentration), water level (gage height, intended as a surrogate for discharge), and precipitation. Data are transmitted hourly and are available on a public Web site ( Two sites only measure water level and rainfall as an aid to stormwater monitoring. The eight remaining sites are used to assess water quality.


This report is available online in pdf format (1 MB): USGS FS 2005-3126 (Opens the PDF file in a new window. )
To view the PDF document, you need the Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. (A free copy of the Acrobat® Reader may be downloaded from Adobe Systems Incorporated.)

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