A Comparison of Water-Quality and Stormwater Inflow and Outflow During Habitat Restoration at the McEwen Storm Drainage Pond, South Valley, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2020–22

Scientific Investigations Report 2023-5144
Prepared in cooperation with Bernalillo County
By: , and 



In 2020, the U.S. Geological Survey began targeted monitoring, in partnership with Bernalillo County, at three locations within the McEwen storm drainage pond to evaluate and compare the water quality of stormwater as it enters and exits the study area, which is channelized and routes urban stormwater runoff through a wetland area. Stage in McEwen pond and precipitation at a nearby precipitation gage were evaluated to observe relations between rainfall and stage, as well as how long the stage remained elevated at the site. Peak stage ranged from 0.73 to 2.4 feet, with the time to reach peak stage at McEwen pond ranging from 45 minutes to 10 hours and 45 minutes. The stage remained elevated for a median of 3 days. Monitored water-quality parameters included physical parameters, bacteria, sediment, and nutrients. Bacteria was the only parameter that frequently exceeded the New Mexico Water Quality standard. Significant differences (p less than 0.05) among sites were few, consisting of those for total nitrogen and dissolved ammonia concentrations, which decreased toward the middle of the pond and were lower in the outflow from the pond compared to concentrations at the east and west sites. The middle of McEwen pond showed an increase in the percentage of fine-grained sediment, which suggests that larger particles settled into the pond and were further filtered as water traveled through the swales. Concentrations of suspended sediment and dissolved nutrients were significantly lower in 2022 compared to previous years. Although the site is still undergoing restoration and plants are becoming established, observations over the last several years indicate that site restoration has resulted in changes to the study area through processes such as nutrient uptake and the filtering of larger sediment particles.

Suggested Citation

Travis, R.E., Van Zante, C.A., Montero, N.Y., and Miltenberger, K.E., 2024, A comparison of water quality and stormwater inflow and outflow during habitat restoration at the McEwen storm drainage pond, South Valley, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2020–22: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2023–5144, 29 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20235144.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Stage, Precipitation, and Water Retention
  • Evaluation of Spatial and Temporal Differences in Stormwater Quality
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title A comparison of water-quality and stormwater inflow and outflow during habitat restoration at the McEwen storm drainage pond, South Valley, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2020–22
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2023-5144
DOI 10.3133/sir20235144
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New Mexico Water Science Center
Description Report: viii, 29 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State New Mexico
City Albuquerque
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details