Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract During 1976, Illinois experienced a mild drought, of i ntensity equivalent to the once in 5 years frequency. It was anticipated that the drought would result in deteriorated water quality because dilution of point source discharges would be diminished. Furthermore, because productivity in Illinois streams is light limited, reduced runoff should result in clearer streams, higher algae levels, and greater variability in dissolved oxygen levels. In spite of these expectations, both chemical and biologic data showed that water quality in 1976 was appreciably better than that before 1975. The information provided by the Illinois water quality index (Janardan and Schaeffer 1977) coincides with biologic analyses of benthic invertebrates. The index supports and supplements the biologic data and provides a means for quantifying and integrating chemical and biologic data. The results of this study showed that the drought had little, if any, effect on statewide water quality. Although the magnitude of the drought varied across the state, water quality remained unchanged between 1975 and 1976. This may have reflected the ability of unpolluted systems to adjust to natural variations or have been an indication that there were offsetting statewide gains in pollution control in 1976 or that uncharacterized, broad-based phenomena were operating in stream ecology, or that combinations of these were in effect.
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