A Study Of Two Streams Receiving Domestic Sewage

A study involving macro-invertebrate populations, fish populations, and water quality determinations was conducted on Bicycle Path Creek and Parkerson Mill Creek, Lee County, Alabama, during a nine-month period in 1959. The streams, averaging 7.0 and 5.8 inches in depth and 10.0 and 12.8 feet in width, respectively, received domestic sewage from approximately half of the 16,000 inhabitants of Auburn, Alabama. Sewage was diverted from Bicycle Path Creek and pumped via a lift station to a sewage treatment plant located on Parkerson Mill Creek. The plant became operative about halfway through the study and the treated effluent was discharged into Parkerson Mill Creek. Bottom organisms, which were collected at approximately two-week intervals from six stations on the two streams, were indicative of the polluted conditions, however, it was believed that not enough time had elapsed after the plant became operative for reinvasion by organisms used as indicators of unpolluted conditions. Organisms that could possibly have been classified as clean-water forms did not occur with any regularity or in significant numbers. Forms such as mayflies and stoneflies that are accepted indicators of clean waters were not found during this study. Fish populations were sampled on Parkerson Mill Creek three weeks before and approximately three months after the sewage treatment plant became operative. The first samples showed that no fish were present at the first two stations, 2.0 and 3.3 miles below the sewage outfall; and only six species were found at the last station, 4.3 miles downstream from the outfall. The latter samples showed fish to be present at all three stations below the outfall with thirteen species being present at the last station, apparently as a result of improved stream conditions. Water quality determinations clearly showed the polluted conditions of the streams and also the recovery following pollution abatement.

ROGERS-449.pdf538.29 KB
Publication date
Starting page
Ending page