Date of Award:

5-2010

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Environment and Society

Advisor/Chair:

Michael E. Dietz

Abstract

The combined effect of land-use alterations and introduced diffuse anthropogenic pollutants to the earth's surface in suburban/urban zones often sparks a decrease in stormwater quality in the area, and contributes to nonpoint source pollution in receiving waters. The ponds at the Utah Botanical Center (UBC) located in Kaysville, UT, regularly experience algal blooms, which in turn cause low dissolved oxygen levels in the waters, indicating high concentrations of inflowing pollutants. The goal of this thesis paper was to describe the findings from the water quality monitoring implemented at both the inlet and outlet of the UBC ponds in order to assess pollutant loading to the ponds. A survey was mailed to the homeowners in the drainage area with the intention of gaining a baseline understanding of residents' perceptions of stormwater issues, and their lawn care practices that might influence stormwater quality. Results from the weekly monitoring found that the TN, TP and TSS levels were all below respective medians reported for urban areas around the United States. Baseflow separation calculations revealed that 47% of inflow was due to precipitation falling onto the watershed and therefore 53% of inflow was a product of non-stormflow. With only 47% of the inflow coming from local runoff, potential effectiveness of educational efforts was considered minimal. Survey results reported that 86% of respondents had never received educational materials regarding stormwater. Second, fertilizer is used by 92.3% of respondents and in most cases, homeowners perform more than one application per year. Of the respondents, 98.1% of them believed that individual residents had an impact (positive or negative) on the quality of water resources in the area. No significant association was found between the education component of the survey and whether participants undertook certain stormwater-related behaviors.

Share

COinS