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Water-Quality Assessment of Lakes Maumelle and Winona, Arkansas, 1991 Through 2003

By Joel M. Galloway and W. Reed Green

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Abstract

Lakes Maumelle and Winona are water-supply reservoirs for the Little Rock and North Little Rock metropolitan areas in central Arkansas. In addition to water supply, the reservoirs are used for recreation and fish and wildlife habitat. The purpose of this report is to describe the hydrology and water quality of Lakes Maumelle and Winona and their inflows from data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with Central Arkansas Water for calendar years 1991 through 2003.

The main inflows into Lakes Maumelle and Winona, the Maumelle River and Alum Fork Saline River, exhibited typical seasonal variability in streamflow with high flows usually occurring in the late fall, winter, and early spring, and low or no flow in the summer and early fall. The highest annual mean streamflow occurred in 1991 and the lowest annual mean streamflow occurred in 1992 for the Maumelle River and 1995 for the Alum Fork Saline River.

Water quality measured in Lakes Maumelle and Winona varied spatially and temporally. Although total phosphorus concentrations were substantially higher at the upper ends of the lakes than at the lower ends of the lakes, nitrogen and orthophosphorus concentrations were not significantly different among the sampling sites on each lake. The highest concentrations of nitrogen generally were measured in 1991 and from 1998 through 2003 at all of the sampling sites. The highest total phosphorus concentrations were measured from 1994 to 1996 and from 1998 to 2001 on Lake Maumelle and from 1993 to 1994 on Lake Winona. Total and dissolved organic carbon concentrations were similar among sites on each lake and the greatest concentrations were measured in 1996 and 1997 at all of the sites. The chlorophyll a concentrations varied seasonally, with the highest concentrations in October and November, but were relatively uniform spatially and annually in Lakes Maumelle and Winona for 1991 through 2003. Water clarity was greater at the lower ends of the lakes than at the upper ends. Secchi depth varied seasonally, with the greatest depth from July to September and the least depth during October through December. There was no apparent trend in Secchi depth over the entire sampling period.

The trophic state indices calculated from near-surface concentrations of total phosphorus and chlorophyll a for Lakes Maumelle and Winona indicated that they generally were oligotrophic although they fluctuated in time between mesotrophic and oligotrophic conditions.

Water-quality concentrations generally were less for the main inflow to Lake Winona, the Alum Fork Saline River, than for the Maumelle River, Bringle, Yount, and Reece Creeks, which flow into Lake Maumelle. Nutrient concentrations for the Maumelle and Alum Fork Saline Rivers remained fairly uniform from 1991 through 2003. Suspended-sediment concentrations generally were greatest at Bringle Creek. Concentrations of fecal streptococci measured at the Alum Fork Saline River were similar to concentrations measured at the Maumelle River, and fecal coliforms concentrations for the Alum Fork Saline River were approximately half the concentration measured at the Maumelle River. Bringle and Reece Creeks had greater concentrations of fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci than the Maumelle River, and Yount Creek had the lowest concentration of fecal streptococci among all the sites.

Annual loads of nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended sediment estimated for the Maumelle River and the Alum Fork Saline River were similar between sites and varied with time from 1991 through 2003. Annual loads were greatest in 1991 for the Maumelle and Alum Fork Saline Rivers and the least in 2000 for the Maumelle River and 1995 for the Alum Fork Saline River. Estimated loads also demonstrated seasonal trends with the highest daily loads in the winter and fall and lowest daily loads in the summer for both sites.

Annual yields of nutrients and dissolved organic carbon computed for the Maumelle River were similar to yields for the Alum Fork Saline River and suspended-sediment yields were less for the period of 1991 through 2003. The Alum Fork Saline River had a mean total nitrogen yield that was slightly greater than the mean total nitrogen yield for Maumelle River and more than three times greater than yields for selected undeveloped sites across the Nation.

Annual flow-weighted concentrations of nutrients and dissolved organic carbon for the Alum Fork Saline River generally were similar to those computed for the Maumelle River. Suspended- sediment flow-weighted concentrations for the Alum Fork Saline River were approximately one-half those computed 2 Water-Quality Assessment of Lakes Maumelle and Winona, Arkansas, 1991 Through 2003 for the Maumelle River. The Alum Fork Saline River generally had flow-weighted nutrient concentrations similar to the mean flow-weighted concentrations for selected undeveloped basins across the Nation.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Figures
  1. Map showing location of Lakes Maumelle and Winona
  2. Map showing land use in the Lakes Maumelle and Winona watersheds
  3. Daily, monthly, and annual mean streamflow and water-quality sampling times for the Maumelle River at Williams Junction, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  4. Flow accumulation curve for the Maumelle River at Williams Junction, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  5. Daily mean reservoir volumes for Lake Maumelle from stage recorded at Lake Maumelle at Natural Steps, Arkansas (07263300), 1991 through 2003
  6. Daily, monthly, and annual mean streamflow and water-quality sampling times for the Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  7. Flow accumulation curve for the Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003.
  8. Daily mean reservoir volumes for Lake Winona from stage recorded at Lake Winona dam at Reform (07362591), 1991 through 2003
  9. Distribution of temperature with depth and time in Lake Maumelle near Natural Steps, Arkansas
  10. Distribution of dissolved oxygen concentration with depth and time in Lake Maumelle near Natural Steps, Arkansas
  11. Boxplot showing distribution of nutrient concentrations for four sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas
  12. Graphs showing time series of nitrogen concentrations for three sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003.
  13. Graphs showing time series of phosphorus concentrations for three sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003.
  14. Boxplot showing distribution of organic carbon concentrations for four sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas
  15. Graphs showing time series of organic carbon concentrations for three sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003.
  16. Boxplot showing distribution of chlorophyll a concentrations for four sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas
  17. Graphs showing time series of chlorophyll a concentrations for three sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003.
  18. Graph showing median monthly chlorophyll a concentrations for Lake Maumelle near Natural Steps, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  19. Boxplot showing distribution of Secchi depths for four sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas
  20. Graph showing median monthly Secchi depths for Lake Maumelle near Natural Steps, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003.
  21. Graphs showing time series of Secchi depth for three sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003.
  22. Boxplot showing trophic state indices for three sites on Lake Maumelle, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003.
  23. Graphs showing distribution of temperature with depth and time in Lake Winona at Reform, Arkansas
  24. Graphs showing distribution of dissolved oxygen concentration with depth and time in Lake Winona at Reform, Arkansas.
  25. Boxplots showing distribution of nutrient concentrations for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  26. Graphs showing time series of nitrogen concentrations for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  27. Graphs showing time series of phosphorus concentrations for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  28. Boxplots showing distribution of organic carbon concentrations for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  29. Graphs showing time series of organic carbon concentrations for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  30. Boxplot showing distribution of chlorophyll a concentrations for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  31. Graphs showing time series of chlorophyll a concentrations for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  32. Graph showing median monthly chlorophyll a concentrations for Lake Winona at Reform, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  33. Boxplot showing distribution of Secchi depths for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  34. Graph showing median monthly Secchi depths for Lake Winona at Reform, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  35. Graphs showing time series of Secchi depth for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  36. Boxplots showing trophic state indices for three sites on Lake Winona, Arkansas
  37. Boxplots showing distribution of nutrient, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended-sediment concentrations for four inflow sites to Lake Maumelle
  38. Graphs showing time series of nutrient, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended-sediment concentrations for the Maumelle River at Williams Junction, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  39. Boxplot showing distribution of fecal indicator bacteria concentrations for four inflow sites to Lake Maumelle
  40. Graphs showing annual nutrient, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended-sediment loads estimated for the Maumelle River at Williams Junction, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  41. Graphs showing seasonal nutrient, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended-sediment loads estimated for the Maumelle River at Williams Junction, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  42. Graphs showing annual nutrient yields for the Maumelle River at Williams Junction, Arkansas, Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, Arkansas, and selected other stream basins
  43. Graphs showing annual flow-weighted nutrient concentrations for the Maumelle River at Williams Junction, Arkansas, Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, Arkansas, and selected other stream basins
  44. Boxplots showing distribution of nutrient, dissolved organic carbon, suspended-sediment, and fecal indicator bacteria concentrations for the Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  45. Graphs showing time series of nitrogen, phosphorus, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended-sediment concentrations for the Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  46. Graphs showing annual nutrient, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended-sediment loads estimated for the Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  47. Graphs showing seasonal nutrient, dissolved organic carbon, and suspended-sediment loads estimated for the Alum Fork Saline River, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
Tables
  1. Water-quality and streamflow sites for Lakes Maumelle and Winona
  2. Estimated annual loads and yields for the Maumelle River at Williams Junction, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  3. Annual flow-weighted concentrations computed for the Maumelle River at Williams Junction, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  4. Estimated annual loads and yields for the Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003
  5. Annual flow-weighted concentrations computed for the Alum Fork Saline River near Reform, Arkansas, 1991 through 2003

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