Baseline study for monitoring water quality in the Cougar Creek/Northeast Interceptor Canal watershed
Sierra, Lina Maria
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The Cougar Creek / Northeast Interceptor Canal watershed is located within the Corporation of Delta and the City of Surrey. Urbanization has been affecting the natural dynamic and environmental conditions of this watershed. This study was conducted to provide a preliminary evaluation of the health of the Cougar Creek, which includes physicochemical and biological aspects of water quality, and to serve as the basis for the design of a more complex water quality monitoring program. A three-tiered methodological approach, which included a literature review, field measurements and statistical analyses, was used. The stream was monitored from Fall 2010 to Fall 2011 at Westview Drive and at Nicholson Road. Chemical constituents were monitored monthly and benthic macroinvertebrates were sampled in Spring 2011. Physical parameters were recorded continuously using automated samplers. Concentrations of constituents did not exceed the BC criteria for the protection of aquatic life, except for total cadmium. Parameters such as dissolved oxygen and temperature at Nicholson Road, and streamflow at both locations during the dry season were recorded at levels that can harm aquatic life. Statistic analysis indicated that differences in streamflow are associated with concentration changes in some of the constituents between the two sites. Analysis of the benthic community indicated that only tolerant organisms were present at the sites. Differences in habitats between the sites were identified which limited the stream’s health comparability. The study identified the need for collecting first flush events data in future research and recommends BMP that could enhance the stream’s environmental condition.
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