Intensive survey of Hunting Bayou.




Petrick, D.V.

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Texas Department of Water Resources


Hunting Bayou in Harris County, Texas was surveyed in October 1979 to: (1) determine quantitative cause and effect relationships of water quality; (2) obtain data to update water quality management plans, and set effluent limits; (3) set priorities for establishing or improving pollution controls; and (4) determine any additional water quality management actions required. A reaeration study was also done in November 1979. Samples were taken from stations in the mainstream of the bayou, from two sewage treatment plants, and from two industries. Dissolved oxygen (DO) levels fluctuated some but were generally depressed at all stations throughout the sampling period. In the early morning, DO levels were less than 2.0 mg/l at 4 of the 6 stations. Later in the day, DO levels increased to above 5.0 mg/l at all but one station, indicating oxygen production due to algal photosynthesis. Temperature, pH, and conductivity levels were relatively stable. BOD5 levels were relatively high, ranging from 3.5 to 9.0 mg/l. Ammonia nitrogen and total phosphorus levels were high throughout the bayou. The source(s) of the high nutrient and BOD5 levels are unknown. The high nitrogen and phosphorus levels steadily increased downstream, increasing slightly downstream for each plant. The depressed dissolved oxygen levels indicate that Hunting Bayou is marginally able to assimilate the present wasteloads entering the system without developing serious water quality problems. The data collected during the survey will be utilized by the Texas Department of Water Resources, through mathematical modeling processes, to evaluate specific wasteloads to Hunting Bayou. (Atkins-Omniplan)


36 p.


dissolved oxygen (DO); flow rates; water samples; hydrology; water chemistry