Publication Date

1981

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Bowden, Kenneth Lester

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Department

Department of Geography

LCSH

Water--Pollution--Illinois--Measurement||Drainage--Illinois||Water quality--Illinois--Measurement||Ammonia

Abstract

Two major water quality problems are associated with the presence of ammonia in a water body: 1) depression of dissolved oxygen by exertion of chemical oxygen demand and 2) direct toxicity to in-stream organisms, literature on ammonia toxicity indicates the un-ionized (NH₃) form of ammonia to be the problem pollutant. This investigation examines two issues concerning un-ionized ammonia. The first concerns the relationships of un-ionized ammonia in Illinois streams with respect to total ammonia-nitrogen, pH, temperature, and field dissolved oxygen. The second investigates sources of un-ionized ammonia from urban and rural watersheds. Nine Illinois stream drainage basins were selected for this study. These basins are categorized into three groups — 1 ) mean NH₃ values less than .02 mg/l (the USEPA Water Quality Criteria for un-ionized ammonia), 2) greater than .02 mg/l and less than .20 mg/l, and 3) greater than .20 mg/l. The nine study basins were analyzed for general basin data trends as well as seasonal trends. This was done to determine the general behavior of un-ionized ammonia in relation to total ammonia-nitrogen, temperature, pH, and field dissolved oxygen. In addition, factor analyses were performed on the data including chloride, fecal coliform bacteria, nitrates/nitrites, phosphorous, and sulfate as surrogate variables for on-land sources. Results indicated that elevated concentrations of total ammonia-nitrogen along with high temperatures are the major contributors to high un-ionized ammonia concentrations in the basins studied. However, the numerous factors contributing to total ammonia-nitrogen concentrations must be taken into consideration when determining the characteristics of un-ionized ammonia. The factor analysis results indicate that non-point sources of un-ionized ammonia in urban areas are urban runoff and atmospheric fallout, the latter of which deserves further study. Major non-point sources of un-ionized ammonia in rural areas are runoff from fertilized fields, runoff from feedlots, water softener discharges, and road salts.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references.

Extent

v, 60 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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