Effect of Drought on Stream Quality in New Jersey

by Peter W. Anderson,
John E. McCall,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 5, Pg. 779-788

Document Type: Journal Paper


Five consecutive years of drought (1961-66) have had a pronounced effect on the water quality of New Jersey's streams. This is illustrated by comparison of cumulative departures of precipitation and streamflow and of 12-month moving-average analysis of systematically collected water-quality information at stream-sampling sites in the major river systems in the State. The deficiencies of precipitation and streamflow during the drought are shown to have a definite relation to several water-quality parameters. Abnormally high dissolved-solids content, coliform-bacteria counts, and biochemical oxygen demand are shown to occur, as are abnormally low dissolved oxygen and suspended-sediment content, and further intrusion than normal of saline waters into estuarine areas. In general, the maximum deterioration of the water-quality parameters described was observed in late 1965 and early 1966.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Droughts | Rivers and streams | Precipitation | Streamflow | Parameters (statistics) | Oxygen demand | Dissolved oxygen | New Jersey | United States

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