Unique Water Quality Aspects of Lake Pontchartrain

by Donald E. Barbe, Univ of New Orleans, New Orleans, United States,
Michael A. Poirrier, Univ of New Orleans, New Orleans, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management and Urban Water Resources


Natural factors causing changes in Lake Pontchartrain, can be grouped into the following: subsidence and wetland loss due to the deterioration of the St. Bernard Delta, natural variations and long term cycles cause year to year and decade to decade changes, and hurricanes and other major storms produce short term and long term environmental change. The most significant factor affecting the water quality of Lake Pontchartrain is the activities of the over one million people who reside on the wetlands that in the past nourished it. During rains, the south shore becomes a mixing zone for urban runoff which is pumped from outfall canals into the lake. The city's drainage network is composed of a subsurface collection system that discharges into either open (102 miles) or covered (89 miles) canals. These canals convey the water to the pumping stations located throughout the city. To be able to reduce the environmental effects on Lake Pontchartrain of the urban runoff from New Orleans, it will be necessary to estimate the quantity and quality of the stormwater entering the lake. The quantity of urban runoff can be obtained by a flood frequency analysis for the outfall canals from the drainage system. This unique drainage system produces a unique flood frequency analysis.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Lakes | Water leakage and water loss | Urban areas | Canals | Drainage systems | Flood frequency | Runoff | New Orleans | Louisiana | United States

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