Effect of Conowingo Dam Releases on the Water Quality of the Lower Susquehanna River

by Donald P. Galya, ERT Inc, United States,
Thomas J. Horst, ERT Inc, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


A modeling study was performed to assess the effects of flow releases from Conowingo Dam on the water quality of Conowingo Pond and the Susquehanna River downstream of the dam. Reservoir releases during stratification periods in Conowingo Pond contain low dissolved oxygen levels which substantially control the dissolved oxygen levels in the river water downstream of the dam. The modeling study quantified this effect and showed that the dissolved oxygen dynamics in the river during low flow release and shutdown periods is dominated by photosynthesis and respiration. In addition, it was demonstrated that the flow release scheme used has essentially no effect on dissolved oxygen levels in Conowingo Pond.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Hydrologic models | Ponds | Dams | Rivers and streams | Water pollution | High-rise buildings | Reservoirs

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