PATTERNS OF BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC CONTAMINATION WITHIN A SMALL WATERSHED IN NORTHEAST GEORGIA
The Hazel Creek Watershed is a small drainage (<100 km2) just west of the Eastern Continental divide in Habersham County, Georgia. The drainage is home to over 600,000 chickens, as well as other types of agriculture, and includes the main campus of Piedmont University in Demorest, GA. Water contamination due to agriculture and land development are a concern for this watershed, which is a part of the larger Soque River and Chattahoochee River Watersheds. We wanted to know whether there was a specific issue with biotic and abiotic contamination in this watershed, whether that contamination was affected by rain events, and whether specific portions of the watershed contributed disproportionately to these issues. We found a consistent relationship between area drained and biotic contamination (with E. coli bacteria) within the watershed after rain events. Two sites were found to have higher than expected levels of bacteria, based on area drained. One of those sites is on Piedmont University’s campus, just below some restored wetlands that support a thriving beaver population. Abiotic contamination (measured by conductivity) decreased with area drained. While the University’s wetlands may be contributing to biotic contamination, conductivity decreased from the upstream to the downstream end.
Ndiaye, Pape M. and Menzel, Timothy Owen
"PATTERNS OF BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC CONTAMINATION WITHIN A SMALL WATERSHED IN NORTHEAST GEORGIA,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 80, No. 1, Article 13.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol80/iss1/13