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LONG ISLAND-NEW JERSEY NAWQA

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Long Island-New Jersey (LINJ) Coastal Drainages Study

FY1998 Workplan—Surface-Water Activities

The LINJ liaison committee identified a need to develop a better understanding of effects of and processes associated with surface-waters including (1) inputs of toxic materials such as, trace elements, VOCs, pesticides, and other synthetic organic compounds, (2) nutrient enrichment, (3) sediment loading, particularly as related to the fate and transport of toxic materials and nutrients, (4) stormwater quality, and (5) interbasin transfers of water. They suggested the NAWQA study focus on relations between sources and loads of toxics, sediment, nutrients, land use, accumulation in bed sediment, bioaccumulation in tissues, effects on aquatic communities, and other factors.

Liaison committee and other discussions indicate that the effects of land use (non-point), especially urban, on water quality are the primary issues in the LINJ SU. Consequently, our surface-water activities have focused on pesticides, VOCs, nutrients, and (to some extent) trace elements in the urban environment and how these toxics affect biological communities.

HIP plans as modified by conference calls

As a result of the conference call and other communications between the NLT and LINJ, our FY97 SW network included (Figure SW-1):

2 indicator IFS (Bound Brook at Middlesex; Upper Great Egg Harbor R at Sicklerville),
3 indicator BFS (Neshanic R at Reaville; Saddle R at Ridgewood; Stony Brook at Princeton), and
2 integrator BFS (Passaic R at Two Bridges; Raritan R at Queens Bridge).

Because of the need to define VOC and pesticide occurrence in the LINJ urban environment, however, all sites were sampled for VOCs and pesticides in FY96 per their BFS or IFS frequency. Raritan River at Queens Bridge was designated as an integrator IFS in FY97 and we continued the monthly sampling of pesticides and VOCs through FY97. Other BFS were not sampled for pesticides after September, 1996 and VOCs after December, 1996. LINJ stratification (Figure Stratification)is discussed in the Environmental Setting.

CONTAMINANTS IN BED SEDIMENT AND TISSUE

Because of the wealth of existing bed sediment data, sampling for contaminants in bed sediment and tissue (BS&T) was not a priority in our study unit during FY96-97. Two papers analyzing the presence and distribution of organic contaminants and trace elements, however, were accepted for publication in Water Resources Bulletin of AWRA. The historical basis for these papers consisted of trace element and organic contaminant data from bed sediment samples collected periodically at 295 sites throughout NJ from 1974 to 1993. Samples were collected by the USGS in cooperation with the NJDEP and analyzed at the NWQL. One-third of the sites in the network were sampled each year on a rotating basis; the number of samples collected per site over the study period ranged from 1 to 13. Sample locations included small, low-order streams in addition to locations on major rivers. Bed sediments were collected at four sites in the LINJ fixed-site network 7-11 times since 1974. Because of the wealth of existing data and the lack of consensus among the biologists regarding the relation between bed sediment and tissue contaminant concentrations, we delayed bed sediment sampling until October, FY98.

Accomplishments in FY 1996-97

Two factsheets and two journal articles on the distribution and occurrence of trace elements and organic contaminants in NJ streambed sediments were published.

O'Brien, A.K., 1997, Presence and distribution of trace elements in New Jersey streambed sediments,
      U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet-049-97.
Stackelberg, P.E., 1996, Presence and distribution of chlorinated organic compounds in New Jersey
      streambed sediments, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet-118-96.
O'Brien, A.K., 1997, Presence and distribution of trace elements in New Jersey streambed sediments,
      Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 33(2), p. 387-403.
Stackelberg, P.E., 1997, Presence and distribution of chlorinated organic compounds in New Jersey
      streambed sediments, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 33(2), p. 271-284.
Proposed BS&T work in FY 1998

Contaminants in bed sediments and tissue were not sampled during FY96-97, however, 14 sites were sampled for bed sediment in FY98 (October 1997). Tissues were collected at 6 of the 7 LINJ fixed sites (not yet at Passaic R at Two Bridges) and at two synoptic sites. The 14 sites selected for bed sediment sampling include the 7 fixed sites and 7 sites sampled as part of the VOC/pesticide/algae/benthic invertebrate synoptic studies completed FY96-FY97 (Table 1). The 7 additional sites selected from the 32 synoptic sites meet the following criteria: 1) no bed sediment data were collected previously as part of the NJDEP/USGS network, 2) fish population was surveyed during FY96 or FY97 as part of biological activities, and 3) biological community is comparable to majority of sites in the synoptic network. Although some sites on LI and the Coastal Plain of NJ satisfied the first two criteria, they did not fit the third criteria and are therefore a lower priority. These sites will be sampled for bed sediment in September of FY98 if end-of-year funds are available. Further details on sites, protocols, and other issues are contained in the Bed Sediment and Tissue Sampling section of the Ecological Activities chapter of this workplan.

BASIC FIXED SITES

Our basic fixed site network consists of three indicator sites and two integrator sites. Indicator BFS include Saddle River at Ridgewood, Neshanic at Reaville, and Stony Brook at Princeton. The two integrator BFS are Passaic River at Two Bridges and Raritan River at Queen's Bridge (Figure SW-1).

Accomplishments in FY 1996-97

A reconnaissance survey of VOCs in eight streams located in a variety of land-use settings across NJ was conducted in March/April, 1996. At a reporting level of 0.2 ug/l, MTBE was the most frequently detected VOC, occurring in seven of eight streams with concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 4.9 µg/l. Largest concentrations (> 2.5 µg/l) were measured in the three highly urbanized basins (urban land use > 60%). Concentrations of MTBE in samples from the five basins with smaller amounts of urban land were all less than 1.0 µg/l. BTEX compounds were detected only at Passaic R. at Two Bridges and Raritan at Queens Bridge, sites representing our two integrator basins. A fact sheet summarizing this reconnaissance data along with existing VOC data for LI and NJ streams was published in 1997 by Terracciano and O'Brien (FS-063-97).

Regular network sampling began April 22, 1996. To further investigate the occurrence of VOCs and pesticides in study unit streams, both basic and intensive fixed sites were sampled for VOCs and pesticides through the fiscal year. A total of 17 samples were collected at each of the 2 IFS and 7-8 samples were collected at the 5 augmented BFS. In summary, 14 VOCs, 19 herbicides, and 8 insecticides were detected among the 69 samples collected at the 7 BFS/IFS sites April 22 - September 30, 1996.

MTBE (58%), chloroform (53%), TCE (32%), TCA (30%), PCE (25%) and methylene chloride (25%) were the most frequently detected VOCs in samples collected at the seven fixed sites. The highest detection frequencies and concentrations of MTBE, TCE, TCA, and PCE were observed at Bound Brook at Middlesex, the urban IFS indicator basin with 68% urban (44% res. 24% ind.) land use. Detection frequencies of most detected VOCs were highest in April and, except for the high number of detects in the August samples, decreased through the summer.

Atrazine (100%), prometon (100%), metolachlor (96%), simazine (96%) and alachlor (67%), carbaryl (61%) and diazinon (52%) were the most frequently detected pesticides in samples collected at the seven fixed sites. In general, the highest concentration of a given pesticide was observed at the site with the highest detection frequency. Highest concentrations of atrazine (10.0 µg/l) and alachlor (4.7 µg/l) were observed at Stony Brook at Princeton, a site draining developing formerly agricultural land. Highest concentrations of prometon (0.099 µg/l), carbaryl (1.5 µg/l), and diazinon (0.3 µg/l) were observed at Bound Brook at Middlesex. Highest concentrations of metolachlor (5.2 µg/l) were observed at Raritan R at Queens Bridge, an integrator basin of mixed land use. Highest simazine (0.1 µg/l) concentration was observed at Great Egg Harbor River at Sicklerville, a Coastal Plain site draining rapidly developing land. Pesticide detection frequencies were generally higher in June and July for alachlor, chloropyriferos, and DCPA, however, patterns were not distinguishable for most of the other frequently detected pesticides. Detection of 2,4D was twice as high in April as in any of the other months. See Accomplishments in FY 1997 under IFS for reports in progress summarizing seasonal variability in pesticide and VOC concentrations at BFS and IFS, April, 1996 through April, 1997.

During FY97, basic fixed sites were sampled monthly for major ions, nutrients, DOC/SOC, and suspended sediment and for VOCs in November and December only. Several high flow samples were collected on regularly scheduled sampling days. High flow samples were substituted for regularly scheduled samples where possible because three of the four BFS are sampled an additional five times per year as part of the USGS/NJDEP cooperative network. BFS were included in the VOC and pesticide synoptic studies conducted January, 1997 and June, 1997 (see section Water Quality Synoptics). BFS sampling is summarized in Table 2. The flow for each sample collected at BFS was plotted on the flow duration curve (Figure SW98-1). Samples collected in FY97 cover a wider range of flow conditions than those collected in FY96. The exception is at Saddle River at which high flow samples did not exceed those collected in FY96.

Raritan River at Queens Bridge was designated as an integrator IFS in FY97 and we continued the monthly sampling of pesticides and VOCs through FY97. Other BFS were not sampled for pesticides after September, 1996 and VOCs after December, 1996.

Continuous discharge is available for Saddle River at Ridgewood, Neshanic at Reaville, and Stony Brook at Princeton. Discharge data is obtained by correlation with sites directly upstream for Passaic at Two Bridges and Raritan River at Queen's Bridge.

Temperature loggers were installed at all BFS in April, 1997. Temperature data are collected hourly using Optic Stowaway Temp data loggers. Conductivity is not measured continuously at basic fixed sites. Additional bed sediment and nutrient data are available for four of the BFS through the cooperative USGS/NJDEP QW network.

Proposed BFS work in FY 1998

During FY98 basic fixed sites will be sampled monthly for major ions, nutrients, DOC/SOC, and suspended sediment. We will make a concerted effort to obtain high flow samples at sites lacking adequate high flow data, particularly Saddle River at Ridgewood.

INTENSIVE FIXED SITES

Our intensive fixed sites (IFS) are Bound Brook at Middlesex (NENJ-Urban) and Great Egg Harbor River at Sicklerville (CP-Developing Urban), both indicator sites. Raritan River at Queens Bridge was designated an integrator IFS (or augmented BFS) in FY97 and we continued the monthly sampling of pesticides and VOCs through FY97 (Figure SW-1).

Accomplishments in FY 1996-97

During FY96, IFS were sampled weekly for major ions, nutrients, DOC/SOC, suspended sediment, VOCs and both pesticide schedules April - July and sampled biweekly for all constituents in August and September. During FY97, indicator IFS were sampled biweekly in October and monthly in November and December for all constituents (VOCs were sampled twice at Bound Brook at Middlesex in November and December). Biweekly VOC sampling resumed January through March (when pesticide samples were collected monthly). Pesticides were collected weekly in April (when monthly VOC sampling resumed), biweekly May through August, and monthly in September. Major ions, nutrients, DOC/SOC, and suspended sediment samples also were collected.

Streamflow, specific conductance and temperature were monitored continuously at the two intensive fixed sites. A stream gage shelter was installed at Great Egg Harbor River at Sicklerville on March 27, 1996. An ADR records stage every 15 minutes. A Hydrolab was installed on April 11, 1996, to monitor specific conductance and temperature every hour. A Sierra-Misco model 5096 radio transmitter previously had been installed at Bound Brook at Middlesex to monitor flood stages. The data logger in the Sierra-Misco gage was reprogrammed to record stage every 15 minutes. The stage data is downloaded to the Prime computer and stored as continuous-record stage. A CR10 and minimonitor probe were installed at Bound Brook at Middlesex on July 24, 1996 to continuously monitor specific conductance and temperature every hour.

IFS sampling is summarized in Tables 3a, b, and c. The flow for each sample collected at each IFS was plotted on the flow duration curve (Figure SW98-3). Samples were collected at a wide range of flow conditions at the IFS. Figure SW98-4 shows the mean daily discharge for the period of record through the end of FY97 at each IFS along with the instantaneous discharge for each sample collected.

Streamflow, specific conductance and temperature were monitored continuously at the two intensive indicator fixed sites. Mean daily discharge and specific conductance are shown for each IFS for the period of record in (Figure SW98-5). A temperature logger was installed at Raritan River at Queens Bridge, April, 1997. Temperature data are logged hourly.

Factsheets summarizing seasonal variability in pesticide and VOC concentrations at BFS and IFS, April, 1997 through April, 1998 are in progress:

"Seasonal variability in VOC concentrations in New Jersey streams" R.G. Reiser and others.
The purpose of this factsheet is to summarize VOC data collected at the 7 fixed sites April, 1996 through April, 1997.

"Seasonal variability in pesticide concentrations in New Jersey streams" A.K. O'Brien and others.
The purpose of this factsheet is to summarize pesticide data collected at the 7 fixed sites April, 1996 through April, 1997.

An analysis of stormflow variability in nutrients, VOCs and pesticides at the seven fixed sites will be underway this fall (Pflaumer and others).

Proposed IFS work in FY 1998

During FY98 IFS will be sampled monthly for VOCs from October-April and monthly for pesticides from October-June. IFS will be operated as BFS from July-September, 1998. This would give us a minimum of two-full years of IFS type data at the two indicator sites, basically, two `high-level' seasons for VOCs (December-March) and three `high-level' seasons for pesticides and nutrients (April-June).

WATER QUALITY SYNOPTICS

Accomplishments in FY 1996-97

No synoptic water-quality studies were funded for FY96. In FY97, the two reach synoptic studies of VOCs and the study unit VOC and pesticide synoptic studies were carried out as planned. All VOC synoptic samples were collected January 28-31, 1997. To determine within basin variability/sources, 9 samples were collected in the Bound Brook watershed, 4 samples were collected in the Santapogue Creek watershed, and 3 samples each were collected in the Sampawams Creek and Swan River watersheds as part of the reach studies of VOCs. A total 51 stream samples were collected on LI and in NJ (Figure SW98-6) with an additional 3 replicates, 2 blanks, and 2 spikes.

All pesticide synoptic samples were collected June 9-20, 1997. A total of 53 stream samples were collected on LI and in NJ (Figure SW98-7) with an additional 3 replicates, 3 blanks, and 2 spikes. No significant amount of rain fell during the two week sampling period.

A retrospective factsheet (FS-063-97) by Terracciano and O'Brien (1997) describing the presence and distribution of VOCs in LI streams based on an existing NWIS data and data from the Suffolk County Department of Health was compiled in FY96 and published in FY97.

Factsheets summarizing the spatial variability VOC and pesticide concentrations in NJ and LI streams from FY97 synoptic survey data are in progress:

"Volatile organic compounds in New Jersey and Long Island streams" A. K. O'Brien, R.G. Reiser and H. Gylling. This factsheet summarizing the results of the study unit VOC synoptic study is currently in editorial review.

"Pesticides in New Jersey and Long Island streams" H. Gylling and others. The purpose of this factsheet is to present the results of the study unit pesticide synoptic study.

Proposed Synoptic work in FY 1998

Four synoptic studies are proposed for FY98. They are designed to gain a better understanding on the spatial variability and likely sources of pesticides and/or VOCs in Bound Brook, 3 LI streams, and 12 NJ Coastal Plain streams.

VOC Reach Study of three streams on Long Island (January or February, 1998).
The purpose of FY97 synoptic VOC study of urbanized stream reaches was to determine the downstream variability in VOC concentrations and, hence, some indication on the variability in sources of VOCs in these streams. Consistent patterns were not evident in the data collect January, 1997
(Figure SW98-8a) and (Figure SW98-8b) higher VOCs seen in LI streams. We propose to conduct intensive field reconnaissance of the three LI streams sampled to explain the concentrations observed in FY97. We will then modify our sampling design and collect an additional sample at ten sites in the 3 systems. Streams to be sampled are Swan River, Sampawams, and Santapogue Creeks (see Proposed Work in FY 1997 VOC Reach Study of three streams on Long Island). Streams will be sampled for VOCs, field pH, and conductivity only. Stream and air temperature will also be recorded. Discharge measurements will be made at ungaged sites. This study will be conducted by study unit personnel in NJ and LI offices, in late January or February, 1998.

VOC storm sampling in Bound Brook (Winter 1997-98).
Contrasting patterns in downstream VOC concentrations were observed in the two major tributaries to our Bound Brook IFS sampled during the VOC reach study in January 1997 (Figure SW98-9a) and (Figure SW98-9b). Along Bound Brook, the more industrialized reach, VOC concentrations decreased downstream from the most upstream site where relatively high VOC concentrations were observed and a point source is suspected. Along Green Brook, a more residential/commercial reach, VOC concentrations increased downstream from NDVs. VOC concentrations at Bound Brook at Middlesex, our IFS, were between those observed in the two tributary sites just upstream, both during the baseflow synoptic and on another occasion when those same three sites were sampled during high flow. To better define how VOC concentrations vary at our IFS during stormflow from non-point and point sources, we propose to collect about three samples at each of 3 sites (Bound Brook indicator IFS and two upstream sites on the Green Brook trib) over a winter storm hydrograph.

Coastal Plain Pesticide/Algae/Benthic Invertebrate Synoptic Study (late May, early June, 1998).
FY97 synoptic study of pesticides focused primarily on northern NJ to compliment the algae/benthic invertebrate synoptic study conducted September/October, 1996 and the pesticide synoptic study conducted at the same time by the NY District. A synoptic study of pesticides/algae/benthic invertebrates is proposed for FY98 to determine the spatial variability in pesticide concentrations and detections in the Coastal Plain. About 10 sites will be selected to compliment NJ District work currently ongoing in the Tom's River/Metedeconk basins and the Pineland Commission work currently ongoing in the Mullica River basin. Interest in Tom's River basin is primarily related to rapid development and local concern with recent cancer cluster research and water quality. Interest in the Mullica River basin is primarily related to cranberry farming practices. Streams will be sampled for pesticides, nutrients, major ions, DOC/SOC, and suspended sediment. Water quality samples and biological samples will be collected and processed in the field by regular sampling teams, 1-2 sites per day. Sampling should be completed in about two weeks or less.

Pesticide reach study of Bound Brook (June, 1998).
The highest number of non-agricultural pesticides in LINJ surface waters was observed at our Bound Brook IFS indicator site. To determine the sources of pesticides in this urban indicator stream, a synoptic study is planned to sample reaches draining sub-watersheds of different land use. One tributary to Bound Brook drains a watershed of primarily industrial/residential land use and the other tributary drains a watershed of primarily residential/commercial land use. We propose to sample 9 locations along the two main tributaries (4 on Green Brook and 5 on Bound Brook) for pesticides, field pH, DO, and conductivity only. Stream and air temperature will also be recorded. Discharge measurements will be made at ungaged sites. Sampling will be conducted in June, when pesticide concentrations are highest. The IFS will also be sampled as part of that station's regular schedule.

Information related to NAWQA can be obtained from:

NAWQA Project Chief, USGS
810 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 206
West Trenton, New Jersey 08628
Phone 609-771-3943

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