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Implementation and Initial Results of a Long-Term Monitoring Program for Watershed Management in the City of Atlanta

Tracy A. Hillick 1, Mary E. Horton 2, and Sean D. Roche 2

1 City of Atlanta, Division of Inspection and Monitoring, 2440 Bolton Road, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318.
2 Program Management Team, Dept. of Watershed Management, Clean Water Atlanta
c/o CH2M HILL, 115 Perimeter Center Place, N.E., Suite 700, Atlanta, GA 30346-1278

The City of Atlanta (COA) has initiated a Long-term Watershed Monitoring (LTWM) Program for all major watersheds within the City limits. The purpose of this program is to collect data needed to assess stream conditions and identify any pollution reduction that can be attributed to the Clean Water Atlanta (CWA) program implementation, a multi-billion dollar wastewater infrastructure capital improvement program. The LTWM Program includes the following major tasks:

The LTWM Program is one of the nation's largest continuous urban hydrologic monitoring networks in terms of both its size (20 stations) and scope (in situ, water quality, and biological monitoring). Installation of the monitoring network was completed in June 2003. Routine water quality sampling was initiated in August 2003. Two biological monitoring events were completed in December 2001 and October 2003. The web-based watershed data management system should be completed by mid 2004.

Based on data collected thus far, biotic integrity is degraded throughout the study area, due primarily to compromised habitat conditions. The water quality data collected during the first year will be used to support the watershed management planning process, including development of guidelines to protect and improve water quality and biotic integrity of streams throughout Atlanta. An iterative process will be used to review and revise our approach to better support the goals and objectives of the LTWM Program.

Keywords: Water quality monitoring, storm sampling, continuous real-time watershed monitoring, watershed data management, watershed management plan

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