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Total Phosphorus (mg/l)

Some Examples of Concentration-Flow Curves, cont.

Where both point and non-point sources contribute to elevated concentrations of pollutants, the concentration-flow graphs are often U-shaped. This is the case for total phosphorus in the Great Miami River. Municipal sewage treatment plants and cropland erosion both contribute phosphorus in quantities that result in elevated phosphorus concentrations. However, they affect phosphorus concentrations under very different flow conditions.

That point sources are responsible for the increasing phosphorus concentrations under low flows is confirmed by examination of the soluble reactive phosphorus concentration-flow curve to the lower right. A high proportion of the total phosphorus from point sources is soluble reactive phosphorus. The increasing SRP concentrations with decreasing flow in the low flow range is a sure indicator of sewage effluent.

In these concentration-flow graphs, we use log scales for flow axis so that the low flow responses are more evident. The graph below shows the same TP data with a linear flow axis.

Great Miami River

10/1/2001 - 9/30/2003

1.60

TP

1.40

1.20

1.00

0.80

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00

0

10000

20000 Flow (cfs)

30000

1.60

1.40

1.20

TP (mg/l)

1.00

0.80

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00

100

0.70

0.60

0.50

SRP (mg/l)

0.40

0.30

0.20

0.10

0.00

40000

100

Page 2.e.3

Great Miami River

10/2/2001 - 9/30/2003

TP

1000

10000

100000

Flow (cfs)

Great Miami River

10/2/2001 - 9/30/2003

SRP

1000

10000

100000

Flow (cfs)

Water Quality Laboratory, Heidelberg College

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