Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 161, Issue 1–4, pp 3–23 | Cite as

Assessment of Water Quality in Association with Land use in the Tillamook Bay Watershed, Oregon, USA

  • Timothy J. Sullivan
  • Kai U. Snyder
  • Erin Gilbert
  • Joseph M. Bischoff
  • Mark Wustenberg
  • James Moore
  • Deian Moore
Article

Abstract

The water quality in tributaries to Tillamook Bay, Oregon, frequently exceeds standards for fecal coliform bacteria (FCB) and temperature. FCB inputs to the bay have forced periodic closure of the oyster shellfish industry. In addition, impaired water quality may be contributing to reduced salmonid populations in the bay and its tributaries through reduction in the quality of the habitat. Because of these concerns, the Tillamook Bay National Estuary Project (TBNEP) conducted several characterization studies and a long-term water quality monitoring program for the tributary rivers. This paper summarizes data collected to date within these efforts, including storm-based data on FCB and total suspended solids (TSS), and bimonthly data on nutrient concentrations in selected rivers. Monitoring data from 1996 to 2002 are summarized. Results for FCB and TSS are reported by storm, which are classified according to season and precipitation patterns in order to minimize intra-annual variability. There are not indications of large changes in water quality throughout the period of record, but it is too early in the program for trends analysis. Storms that exhibited the highest FCB concentrations tended to be those that occurred during fall and/or those that were preceded by relatively dry conditions and included high rainfall intensity. Implementation of storm-based monitoring and classification of storms according to season effectively reduces the large variability inherent in the FCB monitoring data, thereby facilitating future trends analysis. Continued storm-based monitoring of FCB and TSS, and also continued collection of rainfall and river discharge data, will provide the database that will be needed to determine to what extent on-the-ground remediation actions and best management practices (BMPs) within the Tillamook Basin are having their desired effects.

Keywords

fecal coliform bacteria nonpoint source pollution nutrients Tillamook Bay water quality 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. Sullivan
    • 1
  • Kai U. Snyder
    • 1
  • Erin Gilbert
    • 1
  • Joseph M. Bischoff
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark Wustenberg
    • 3
  • James Moore
    • 4
  • Deian Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.E&S Environmental Chemistry Inc.CorvallisU.S.A.
  2. 2.Wenck AssociatesMaple PlainU.S.A.
  3. 3.Kilchis Dairy Herd ServicesBay CityU.S.A.
  4. 4.Bioengineering DepartmentOregon State UniversityCorvallisU.S.A.

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