Annual and Seasonal Variations of Phosphorus Loads in the Okanagan River

by L. John Zeman, Inland Waters Directorate, Water, Quality Branch, Vancouver, BC, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Development and Management Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Systems


Results of monitoring of phosphorus loads in the Okanagan River channel linking Okanagan, Skaha and Osoyoos Lakes are described. The southern Okanagan basin is the area where major changes in phosphorus loads from the Penticton waste water treatment plant were anticipated. Consistent changes in river loadings occurred above the inlet to Skaha Lake. The surface loading rates of phosphorus to this lake decreased from 8. 92 to 3. 57 acre** minus **1 yr** minus **1 (1 to 0. 4 g m** minus **2 yr** minus **1) between 1970 to 1980. The reduction in phosphorus loads from the Penticton plant is not apparent below this lake because diffuse source loadings are increasing downstream. The surface loading of phosphorus to Osoyoos Lake, in the amount of 12. 49 lb acre** minus **1 yr** minus **1 (1. 4 g m** minus **2 yr** minus **1), remains in 1980, above the critical loading rate as it was in 1970.

Subject Headings: Nutrient pollution | Phosphorus | Load factors | Loading rates | Water treatment | Seasonal variations | Lakes | Water treatment plants

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