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Indicators of organic contamination in Plantation Canal, Broward County, Florida, 1971-72 ( FGS: Report of investigation...
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 Material Information
Title: Indicators of organic contamination in Plantation Canal, Broward County, Florida, 1971-72 ( FGS: Report of investigations 70 )
Series Title: ( FGS: Report of investigations 70 )
Physical Description: v. : ill., maps (some col.) ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Bureau of Geology
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Publisher: State of Florida, Dept. of Natural Resources, Bureau of Geology
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1970-1986
Frequency: irregular
completely irregular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Geology -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Thomas N. Russo ; prepared by the United States Geological Survey ... et al..
Citation/Reference: Bibliography of agriculture
Citation/Reference: Biological abstracts
Citation/Reference: GeoRef
Dates or Sequential Designation: No. 54-no. 96.
Issuing Body: No. 54- prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Bureau of Geology, Division of Interior Resources, Florida Department of Natural Resources.
General Note: Some no. have title: Report of investigations.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management:
The author dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law and all related or neighboring legal rights he or she had in the work, to the extent allowable by law.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000454246
oclc - 01358081
notis - ACL6397
lccn - 72649393 //r902
issn - 0096-0489
System ID: UF00001257:00001
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Preceded by: Report of investigations -Division of Geology
Succeeded by: Report of investigation (Florida Geological Survey)

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Z7 sl~ra~







STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Harmon W. Shields, Executive Director





DIVISION OF INTERIOR RESOURCES
Robert 0. Vernon, Director





BUREAU OF GEOLOGY
C. W. Hendry, Jr., Chief





REPORT OF INVESTIGATIONS NO. 70





INDICATORS OF ORGANIC CONTAMINATION IN
PLANTATION CANAL, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1971-72




By
Thomas N. Russo


Prepared by the
UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
in cooperation with
BUREAU OF GEOLOGY
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES,
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT,
and
BROWARD COUNTY AIR AND WATER POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD

Tallahassee, Florida
1974




55'7. "
7-F 36r
70
DEPARTMENT
OF
NATURAL RESOURCES


REUBIN O'D. ASKEW
Governor


RICHARD (DICK) STONE
Secretary of State




THOMAS D. O'MALLEY
Treasurer




RALPH D. TURLINGTON
Commissioner of Education


ROBERT L. SHEVIN
Attorney General




FRED 0. DICKINSON, JR.
Comptroller




DOYLE CONNER
Commissioner ofAgriculture


HARMON W. SHIELDS
Executive Director








LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


Bureau of Geology
Tallahassee
March 29, 1974


Honorable Reubin O'D. Askew, Chairman
Department of Natural Resources
Tallahassee, Florida


Dear Governor Askew:

The Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Geology, is publishing as
its Report of Investigation No. 70 the report entitled, "Indicators of Organic
Contamination in Plantation Canal, Broward County, Florida, 1971 72," by
Thomas N. Russo, of the U. S. Geological Survey.

The purpose of this report is to document the water-quality characteristics
of a contaminated controlled canal. The report demonstrates the value of the
physical, chemical and biological properties of the bottom sediments in
providing an overall picture of the long-term effects of contamination.


Respectfully yours,




Charles W. Hendry, Jr., Chief
Bureau of Geology














































Completed manuscript received
February 13, 1974
Printed for the
Florida Department of Natural Resources
Division of Interior Resources
Bureau of Geology
By
Ambrose the Printer, Inc.
Jacksonville, Florida

Tallahassee
1974

iv








CONTENTS

Introduction ....................................................... 1
Purpose and scope ............................................... 1
Data collection ................................................ 2
Indicators of organic contamination in water ............................... 4
Oxygen related parameters ......................................... 5
Coliform bacteria ................................ ................ 9
Major nitrogen and phosphorus species .............................. 11
Aquatic plants and animals ......................................... 17
Bottom sediments .................................................... 17
Chemical characteristics .......................................... 18
Nutrient release ............................................ 22
Pesticides ....................................... ......... 22
Classification of bottom sediments ................................... 25
Benthic organisms .............................................. 28
Biotic indices ................................................... 31
Summary and conclusions .............................................. 34
Literature cited ...................................................... 37







ILLUSTRATIONS

Figure Page
1. Map showing the Broward County Canal System and the canal reaches
investigated ............................................
2. Location of sewage treatment plants, sample sites, and the salinity control
structure on the Plantation Canal .................................... 3

3. Average dissolved oxygen concentrations and percent saturation in Plantation
Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A ........................ 6

4. Average biochemical oxygen demand concentrations in Plantation Canal and
South New River Canal above S-13A ................................ 8

5. Average concentrations of total organic carbon in Plantation Canal and South
New River Canal above S-13A ...................................... 9

6. Average concentrations of carbon dioxide in Plantation Canal and South New
River Canal above S-13A .......................................... 9

7. Average concentrations of ammonium (NH4 N) and phosphorus in Plantation
Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A ........................ 13

8. Average concentrations of nitride, (NO2 N), nitrate (NO3 N), and organic
nitrogen in Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A ....... 13

9. Discharge and concentrations of ammonium (NH4 N) and phosphorus in
Plantation Canal, 1971-1972...................................... 15

10. Relationship between biochemical oxygen demand concentrations in
Plantation Canal and average percent oxygen saturation at sites 14A and 14B
1971-72 .............................................. 16

11. Percentage of organic carbon and nitrogen in bottom sediments of Plantation
Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A ..................... 19

12. Ammonium and phosphorus concentrations in the bottom sediments of
Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A ................ 20

13. Inorganic and organic carbon versus phosphorus in the bottom sediments of
Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A ................ 23

14. Iron and manganese versus phosphorus concentrations in the bottom
sediments of Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A ..... 24
vi








ILLUSTRATIONS Continued
Figure Page
15. Biological magnification of the DDT family (DDT + DDE + DDD) and
Polychlorinated Biphenyls in the Miami Canal. Values for water are given in
micrograms per liter and for biota and bottom sediments in micrograms per
kilogram (after Meyer and Wimberly, 1971) ........................... 26

16. Organic sediment index in Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above
S-13A ................................................ 26

17A Benthic organisms found during the study ............................ 29

17B. Percentage composition of benthic organisms present at each site in Plantation
Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A ........................ 30

18. Biotic and diversity index values in Plantation Canal and South New River
Canal above S-13A .......................................... ... 33








TABLES


Page
I. Sampling sites in Plantation and South New River Canals ................. 3

2. Aquatic plants found in Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above
S-13A .................................... ................. 7

3. Summary of bacteriological data, 1971-72 ............................ 10

4. Chemical constituents of secondary sewage effluent (after Environmental
Protection Agency 1972) ......................................... 11

5. Chemical loads entering in Plantation Canal ........................... 12

6. Percentage of selected particle sizes of bottom sediments in Plantation Canal
and South New River Canal above S-13A ............................. 18

7. Concentration of metals in the bottom sediments of Plantation Canal and
South New River Canal above S-13A ................................ 21

8. Chemical oxygen demand in the bottom sediments in Plantation Canal and
South New River Canal above S-13A .............................. 27








INDICATORS OF ORGANIC CONTAMINATION IN
PLANTATION CANAL, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1971-72


By
Thomas N. Russo


INTRODUCTION

Plantation Canal is a fresh water canal of the FCD (Central and Southern
Florida Flood Control District) in the heavily populated Fort Lauderdale area
(fig. 1). It is about 2% miles long. Its water levels are regulated by a salinity
control structure S-33 (fig. 2), one half mile east of U. S. Highway 441. During
the wet season, excess water is discharged into the tidal waters of the North
Fork of New River which meanders 4 miles through the city of Fort Lauderdale,
Florida. During the dry season fresh water is retained in Plantation Canal and
there is little or no flow into the New River. Principal inflow to Plantation Canal
during this period is composed of ground water and waste water from adjacent
sewage treatment plants (fig. 2). The quality of water in the canal is largely
related to the quality and quantity of waste waters entering it.

The quality of water in streams is usually determined by chemical,
physical, and biological tests. Each test represents the water quality in the
stream at a specific point in time. Changes in water quality over a long time may
be detected only by recurrent sampling and analyses.

The abundance and distribution of benthic (bottom dwelling) organisms
are influenced in a water body. When an organism is confronted with an adverse
environmental condition it must adapt to that condition or eventually die and be
replaced by more tolerant organisms.

Plantation Canal was selected for detailed study because water quality
analyses indicated that the canal was the most contaminated canal in Broward
County. Stream conditions are adverse to most forms of bottom life; only the
most tolerant organisms are able to survive. South New River Canal above S-13A
was selected as a control site because it is relatively uncontaminated.

PURPOSE AND SCOPE

The purpose of this report is to document the water-quality characteristics
of a contaminated controlled canal. The report demonstrates the value of the
physical, chemical and biological properties of the bottom sediments in
providing an overall picture of the long-term effects of contamination.







BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


Figure 1 Map showing the Broward County canal system and the canal
reaches investigated.



DATA COLLECTION

Water-quality samples were collected monthly at five sites on Plantation
Canal (fig. 2) over a 15-month period and at the control site on the South New
River Canal (fig. 1) for a 9-month period. The five sites established at Plantation
Canal are spaced approximately at 0.6-mile intervals. Detailed descriptions of the
sites are shown in table 1.









REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70 3
EXPLANATION
SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT
SAND POINT OF DISCHARGE 0 I MILE
S14 SAMPLE SITE AND NUMBER 0 1000 1600 METERS
CANAL AND CONTROL




I- SUNRISE BOULEVARD
14 14A 148 14C IS
PLANTATION
CANAL
-J


BROWARD BOULEVARD

LL
0




Figure 2 Location of sewage treatment plants, sample sites, and the
salinity control structure on the Plantation Canal.






TABLE 1
SAMPLING SITES IN PLANTATION AND SOUTH NEW RIVER CANALS

Site Identification Number Location and Description
14 260807N0801402 Plantation Canal at N. W. 65 Avenue Bridge,
south bank about 25 yards east of Earthen
Bridge in Plantation.

14A 260807N0801328 Plantation Canal at Sunrise Blvd. opposite
City of Lauderhill Entrance.

14B 260808N0801247 Plantation Canal at N. W. 47 Avenue Bridge,
east side of bridge.

14C 260807N0801214 Plantation Canal at Highway 441, west side
of bridge.

15 2832.00 Plantation Canal, nr. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.,
above S-33.

Above 2859.00 South New River Canal, nr. Davie, Fla.,
S-13A above S-13A.








BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


Water-quality parameters measured at the sites include temperature,
dissolved oxygen content, specific conductance, pH, alkalinity, and free carbon
dioxide. These field determinations were made near the surface and just above
the bottom of the canals to detect stratification.

Water samples were also collected quarterly from selected sites and
analyzed for chemical constituents. Chemical analyses normally included
determinations for major nitrogen and phosphorus species, organic carbon, trace
and heavy metals, biochemical oxygen demand, and pesticides. Bacteriological
tests were made for total coliform, fecal coliform, and fecal streptococcus
bacteria.

During each sampling period biological samples were collected with a 15 x
15 cm (centimeter) Ekman dredge near the shore, at quarter section, and in the
middle of the canal. Each sample was sieved separately in a U. S. Standard No.
30 sieve and preserved in a 4% formalin solution. The organisms were then
removed from the preserved samples, identified and counted. Counts were
expressed as the number of organisms per square meter (Welch 1948).

Bottom sediments were collected at several sites with a core sampler and
Ekman dredge. Particle size and core length were determined from the cores.
The bottom sediments collected with an Ekman dredge were analyzed for
organic and total carbon, organic nitrogen, exchangeable ammonium, phosphate,
manganese, iron, aluminum, lead, mercury, and pesticides.

All field and biological tests were made by the writer. Chemical analyses of
water and bottom sediments were made by U. S. Geological Survey, laboratories
in Ocala, Florida, Washington, D. C., Denver, Colorado, and Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania.

INDICATORS OF ORGANIC CONTAMINATION IN WATER

The principal cause of the poor quality of the water in Plantation Canal is
liquid waste from adjacent sewage treatment plants. This waste contains large
quantities of oxygen demanding materials and plant nutrients. These depress the
dissolved oxygen content and increase the biochemical oxygen demand.
Nutrients stimulate plant growth and the decaying vegetation produces the
noxious odors associated with anaerobic decomposition. In contrast, the control
site on the South New River Canal receives a smaller load of organic matter and
nutrients. Dissolved oxygen levels at this site are usually high. There is no
luxuriant growth of aquatic plants at the control site and no odors are
discernible because decomposition is by aerobic rather than by anaerobic
processes.








REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


OXYGEN RELATED PARAMETERS

The introduction of organic materials into a body of water greatly
influences both the use and production of oxygen, thus the oxygen related
parameters, DO (dissolved oxygen), BOD (biochemical oxygen demand), CO2
(carbon dioxide) and organic carbon are indicators of contamination. Dissolved
oxygen levels in Plantation Canal were very low during the investigation; they
may not be low perennially. The DO near the surface averaged 3.1 mg/l
(milligrams per liter) (37 percent saturation) over a period of 15 months (fig. 3).
The average DO above the bottom was 0.85 mg/1 (10 percent saturation).
Conditions above the bottom are probably anoxic at night or when oxygen
production is low. DO levels are higher in the western reach of the stream
(14-14B) than in the eastern reach (14B-15).

Ingram and others (1960) defined four arbitrary stream zones based on
percent oxygen saturation. The descriptive names are clean water (70%
saturation or greater), degraduation (less than 70%), active decomposition (less
than 40% saturation) and a recovery zone whereby oxygen saturation increases
greater than 40% saturation. Plantation Canal exhibits zones of degradation and
active decomposition, however the length of the canal and the spatial
distribution of the effluent prevents the development of a clearly defined
recovery zone.


In South New River Canal above S-13A, (the control site) DO
concentrations were high during the study period. The average DO at the control
site was 5.9 mg/1 (71 percent saturation) near the surface and 3.7 mg/1 (44
percent saturation) above the bottom. The DO concentrations above the bottom
at the control site were generally higher than near the surface in Plantation
Canal.


Oxygen may be introduced into streams by atmospheric diffusion and by
photosynthesis. The primary producers of oxygen in Plantation Canal are
submersed aquatic plants and algae. The submersed plant community is made up
of Florida elodea (Hydrilla verticillate)JPithophora sp. and coontail,
(Ceratophyllum demersum). Even though the mean depth is 6 feet, these plants
are found only near the shore line. This may be due to unsuitable substrata,
toxic substances in the waters and sediments or lack of available light at deeper
depths.

Another aquatic plant community is composed of a blue green alga,
Anacystis sp., and benthic algae Pithophora sp. and Cladophora sp. During an









BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


algal bloom, DO concentrations
during the day and decreased to
morning.


o 0 4.0
o0
o 3.0

-2
cc 2.0
o 1.


oITE 14
SITE 14


75.0


62.5
0





z
m 37.5


s 25.0
125
12.5


0 I
SITE 14


reached 20.0 mg/1 (254 percent saturation)
0.5 mg/l (5 percent saturation) by the next


14A 148
PLANTATION CANAL


14A 148
PLANTATION CANAL


14C 15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A


14C 15SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A


Figure 3 Average dissolved oxygen concentrations and percent saturation
in Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A.








REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


The remainder of the aquatic plant community are floating plants. These
plants probably contribute little oxygen to the waters of Plantation Canal.
However, dense concentrations of the plants may prevent sunlight from reaching
submersed plants and algae and inhibit oxygen production. Light penetration is
also inhibited by the high color (65 color units) and turbidity (55 Jackson Units)
of the waters.

In contrast to Plantation Canal, the control site at the South New River
Canal has an extensive littoral zone. Large communities of southern naiad (Najas
guadalupensis), Florida elodea, Chara sp. and Cladophora sp. have colonized the
area, whose waters are very clear. DO levels are usually high and the site is free
of floating aquatic plants most of the time. Wide variations in DO are not
characteristic of the control site.

The DO content in a canal is affected, in part, by the BOD (biochemical
oxygen demand) content. BOD is a measure of the oxygen used in respiratory
and chemical oxidation processes and indicates organic load. The average BOD at
the control site on the South New River Canal was 1.9 mg/1 (fig. 4), a
characteristic of a relatively uncontaminated body of water. The average BOD in
Plantation Canal, 6.4 mg/1, represents an organic concentration three times
greater than at the control site. This higher BOD is largely responsible for the
low DO levels which characterize Plantation Canal.

TABLE 2.
AQUATIC PLANTS FOUND IN PLANTATION CANAL AND
SOUTH NEW RIVER CANAL ABOVE S-13A

Plantation Canal

Common Duckweed Lemna minor
Water Lettuce Pistia stratioties
Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes

Florida Elodea Hydrilla verticillata
Coontail Ceratophyllum demersum

Green alga Pithophora sp.
Green alga Cladophora sp.
Blue-Green alga Anacystis sp.

South New River Canal Above S-13A

Southern Naiad Najas guadalupensis
Florida Elodea Hydrilla verticillata

Chladophora Chladophora sp.
Stonewort Chara sp.








8 BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


a
z
2M 10.0
z -5
x l
0 5.0
0
uJ :
Ul
< J


- 0.0 '" -. .
SITE 14 14A 148 14C 15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
PLANTATION CANAL CANAL ABOVE S-13A

Figure 4 Average biochemical oxygen demand concentrations in Plant-
ation Canal and South New River Canal above 13-A.


The high BOD and resulting low DO concentrations dictate the type of
decomposition that takes place in Plantation Canal. When dissolved oxygen is
available, aerobic decomposition converts organic matter into carbon dioxide,
water, and other elemental substances. This occurs in both Plantation Canal and
at the control site. At times, dissolved oxygen is not available in Plantation
Canal. Then, decomposition still proceeds but by anaerobic means during which
foul-smelling substances are produced (residual hydrogen, skatole, indole,
mercaptans and hydrogen sulfide).

Organic carbon concentrations in Plantation Canal averaged 24 mg/1 (fig.
5). East of Highway 441, organic carbon increased from 22 mg/1 at site 14C to
32 mg/l at site 15. The organic carbon in Plantation Canal is mainly in the form
of dissolved and particulate matter from sewage effluent and the biota living in
the water. The organic carbon at the control site is composed chiefly of
dissolved organic matter which leaches out of organic debris and the biota in the
canal water, but which is resistant to biodegradation.

High carbon dioxide concentrations in water may also indicate a high
degree of organic material. Average carbon dioxide concentrations in Plantation
Canal were high, 14 mg/1 near the surface and 20 mg/1 above the bottom.
Concentrations were highest near the surface in the eastern reach between sites
14C and 15 (fig. 6). Carbon dioxide concentrations at the control site in South
New River Canal averaged 9 mg/l near the surface and 16 mg/1 above the
bottom. The higher concentrations in Plantation Canal indicate greater
decomposition rates in the water and sediments.


0
o


HVonF










REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


45.0

37.5

30.0


25.5


15.0

7.5


14A 14B
PLANTATION CANAL


14C 15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A


Figure S Average concentrations of total organic carbon in Plantation
Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A.


14A 14B
PLANTATION CANAL


14C 15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A


Figure 6 Average concentrations of carbon dioxide in Plantation Canal
and South New River Canal above S-13A.


COLIFORM BACTERIA

The presence of coliform bacteria in water is usually considered an
indicator of fecal contamination. The coliform group include Escherichia coli,
Aerobacter aerogenes, and sixteen other species (Millipore, 1971). In general,
these bacteria are considered non-pathogenic, but some E. coli strains can cause


O L--EL
SITE 14


0 L'-L
SITE 14








BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


enteritis and genitourinary infections. The presence of these organisms in a water
sample is an indicator of the possible presence of pathogens, such as Salmonella
(typhoid fever) and Shigella shigellosiss).

Total coliform bacteria concentrations in both Plantation Canal and at the
control site (table 3) exceeded the state criteria (2,400 per 100 ml) for Class 111
waters (Recreation Propagation and Management of Fish and Wildlife) and
federal criteria (200 per 100 ml) for surface waters. However, fecal coliform
concentrations at the control site are below permissible limits set by federal
authorities for surface waters.


TABLE 3.
SUMMARY OF BACTERIOLOGICAL DATA 1971 72

Fecal Coliform/
Fecal Strop
Site Total Coliform* Fecal Coliform Fecal Strop Ratio

14 113,000 363 140 1.0-9.0
(9)+ (8) (2)

15 108,000 3,550 540 0.12-1.0
(8) (7) (2)

Above 8,200 390 1,070 0.24-0.70
13A (9) (8) (2)

All counts are mean values expressed as colonies per 100 milliliters.
+ number of samples.



Smith and Twedt (1971) developed a ratio between fecal coliform and
fecal streptococci (FC/FS) bacteria. Under certain defined conditions, the FC/FS
ratio is used to indicate the probable source of fecal waste. In general at FC/FS
ratio greater than 4 indicates waste from human sources; a ratio less than 0.7
indicates waste from animal sources. The ratio between 0.7 and 4 indicates waste
from both sources.

FC/FS ratios at sites 14 and 15 in Plantation Canal were greater than 4 and
indicative of wastes from human sources. The FC/FS ratio at the control site
ranged between 0.24 and 0.7 and are indicative of animal waste sources.
According to Millipore (1971) duck-generated waste has a ratio of 0.6. Muscovy
ducks are present at the site and are a likely source of waste materials.








REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


MAJOR NITROGEN AND PHOSPHORUS SPECIES

Sewage treatment outfalls located near sites 14, 14B, and 14C, (fig. 2)
introduce about 2.5 4 million gallons of sewage effluent into Plantation Canal
daily. Even though sewage treatment plants are capable of removing much of the
organic carbon from sewage, the sewage plant effluents still contain appreciable
quantities of nutrients, including ammonium, nitrite, nitrate and phosphorus
(table 4). The nutrient load (phosphorus and nitrogen compounds) entering the
2'-mile-long canal was calculated at almost 500 pounds per day (table 5). Some
of the highest nutrient levels in south Florida have been measured in Plantation
Canal, for example concentrations of phosphorus and ammonium have been as
high as 13.5 mg/l P04 P and 32 mg/l NH4 N (Sherwood 1970, written
communication). Average values for the nutrient species ammonium, nitrite,
nitrate, organic nitrogen, and phosphorus are listed in figures 7 and 8. High
concentrations of ammonium, organic nitrogen and phosphorus generally
occurred at sites 14 and 15. These sites are downstream from sewage outfalls
(fig. 2) Concentrations of these constituents are reduced between sites 14A and
14C, possible because of nutrient uptake by aquatic plants or sedimentation of
particulate material eastward from the source of contamination (figs. 7 and 8).

Ammonium concentrations are extremely high at site 14 (13 mg/l NH4 -
N) and site 15 (8 mg/1 NH4 N). At the control site on the South New River
Canal, the average was 0.15 mg/l NH4 N (fig. 7).

Changes in nitrite concentrations along Plantation Canal were inverse to
changes in ammonium concentrations. Nitrite increased between sites 14 and
14A and then decreased in the remainder of the canal (fig. 8). The nitrite
concentrations of the control site on the South New River Canal were below
concentrations in Plantation Canal.


TABLE 4.
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS OF SECONDARY TREATED SEWAGE EFFLUENT
(after Environmental Protection Agency 1972)

Phosphorus as P 101
Ammonia Nitrogen as N 11.3
Organic Nitrogen as N 4.7
Nitrate and Nitrite Nitrogen as N 4.1
Biochemical Oxygen Demand range =7-66*

,J All values are milligrams per liter.
Dependent upon operating efficiency of sewage treatment plant.




















Source

Broward Estates
Plant of
Broward County
Utilities


East Holoway
Canal

Turnpike


TABLE 5. CHEMICAL LOADS ENTERING PLANTATION CANAL
(loads are in pounds per day)


Capacity Flow
(MGD) (MGD)




1.15 2.2


Receiving
Site


Below 14C


Ammonium-N Phosphomn-P


209


6


185


3.5


Nitate-Nitrite




75


Oranic N




86


BOD
5 days




733


5










REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


From site 14A to site 15, nitrate concentrations showed a similar trend to
nitrite in Plantation Canal (fig. 8). The average concentration in Plantation Canal
and the control site was 0.2 mg/1 N03 N.


I I I I I
AMMONIUM (NH4-N)
- A PHOSPHORUS







i i ___ I --I -


14 14A 14B 14C
PLANTATION CANAL


SITE


15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A


Figure 7 Average concentrations of ammonium (NH4 N) and
phosphorus in Plantation Canal and South New River Canal
above S-13A.


14A 148
PLANTATION CANAL


14C


SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A


Figure 8 Average concentrations of nitrite, (NO2 N), nitrate (NO3 N),
and organic nitrogen in Plantation Canal and South New River
Canal above S-13A.


I


(w.
S15.00 oo


o 11.25
i w
0.
o
zCn 7.50

a:
2 3.75
z-J
o-J
I
4 '


I I I I I I

A A
ORGANIC
NITROGEN A' A



NITRATE (NO3-N)
.--.--....-.
NITRITE
(NO2-N)




I I I I


IV.0
SITE 14


- --


. .. n


S


A Pt|







BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


The highest concentrations of organic nitrogen (3-4 mg/1) were recorded at
sites 14 and 15 (fig. 8). Concentrations at the remaining sites were less than 2
mg/1.

Changes in phosphorus and ammonium concentrations in Plantation Canal
were similar (fig. 7). Average concentrations were high (7.5 mg/ P04 P) at sites
14 and 15 and low at sites 14A C. The control site on South New River Canal
had the lowest concentration, 0.02 mg/1 P04 P.

The concentrations of ammonium, phosphorus and biochemical oxygen
demand in Plantation Canal decreased appreciably from January 1971 to August
1972, due to increased flow beginning in October 1971. Percent oxygen
saturation showed no change except at sites 14A and 14B (figs. 9 and 10).

Nutrients are found only in minute quantities at the control site. The
ammonium present in Plantation Canal is 44 times the amount found at the
control site. Other constituents such as phosphorus, nitrite and nitrate are found
in concentrations which were 225, 6, and 2 times respectively the amount
present at the control site.

Another aspect of the nutrient problem in Plantation Canal is aquatic
plants. High concentrations of nutrients cause algal blooms and luxuriant growth
of floating aquatic plants. When these plants die, they usually settle to the
bottom with the particulates of sewage effluents. On the bottom, both the
plants and particulates undergo decomposition and exert an oxygen demand
upon the overlying waters. Materials produced from the decomposition of these
plants become part of the sediments and may be a future source of nutrients.

Additional water-quality data collected were water temperature, specific
conductance and alkalinity. Water temperature ranged from 18C to 330C near
the surface in Plantation Canal. During such times the temperature difference
between the surface and bottom was as much as 3C when there was no flow In
the canal.

The specific conductance of water in Plantation Canal ranged from 500 to
800 umhos (micromhos). Specific conductance was higher during the first 7
months of the study coincidental with a severe drought in south Florida. The
average alkalinity (as bicarbonate) at all sites was 262 mg/1. The water was very
hard.

Although the pH of the water varied considerably, in general it indicated
that the water was alkaline. Near the bottom, pH was usually lower than near
the surface, chiefly because of higher concentrations of carbon dioxide near the









REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


52.5


45.0


37.5


30.0


22.5


15.0


7.5


0


A PHOSPHORUS
z
20 o
Cr



M 25
-0 0
\ 1 a



a.




J F M A M J J A S O N D J FM AM J J A S ON D
1971 1972


J FMA M J J ASO ND J FMAM J J AS


1971


1972


Figure 9 Discharge and concentrations of ammonium (NH4 N) and
phosphorus in Plantation Canal 1971-72.








BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


16

z
<
W W

o -J


O C
(JW



w _<
W -J
o0
I-,
fl^


1971


500



100

50



10

5

1


1972


JFMAM J J A SON DJ F MAM J


1971


1972


Figure 10 Relationship between biochemical oxygen demand concentra-
tions in Plantation Canal and average percent oxygen saturation
at sites 14A and 14B 1971-72.


J F M A M J J AS ON J F M A M J J


10.0


7.5


5.0


2.5


0








REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


bottom which forms carbonic acid in water. A pH as high as 8.4 near the surface
was common during algal blooms and near submersed plants because of high
uptake of carbon dioxide.

AQUATIC PLANTS AND ANIMALS

The plant communities in Plantation Canal consisted chiefly of floating
aquatic plants, whereas those at the control site was chiefly submersed.

Plantation Canal is characterized by luxuriant growth of common
duckweed, Lemna minor, water lettuce, Pistia stratioites, and water hyacinths,
Eichhornia crassipes. The luxuriant growth is the result of an abundant supply of
nutrients. The control site had a small population of water hyacinths during 1
month of the study period.

The submersed aquatic plant community in Plantation Canal is composed
chiefly of coontail, Ceratophyllum demersum, and smaller populations of
Florida elodea, Hydrilla verticillata, stonewort, Chara sp., Pithophora ap., and
Chladophora sp. These plants were found only near the shore line. The
submerged plant community at the control site extends farther from the shore
due to a large littoral zone. Here, large populations of southern naiad, Najas
guadalupensis, and Florida elodea are found, indicating better water quality.

The plantonic blue-green alga, Anacystis sp. may reach high concentrations
and color the water a light green in Plantation Canal.

The frequency of luxuriant growths of floating aquatic vegetation in
Plantation Canal seemed to decrease from February 1972 to June 1972. Its
littoral zone increased in size and was composed of submersed aquatic plants and
the benthic alga, Chladophor sp. which covered the bottom to the quarter
section. The mosquito fish, Gambusia affinis, was present throughout the study
and was greatest in number during March- June 1972. These fish, apparently
tolerate the toxic substances in water, and have the ability to obtain sufficient
oxygen in the thin film of water at the surface. Larger fish seen by the author
were confirmed by local fishermen to be tarpon, Megalops atlantica. These fish
apparently enter the canal when DO is high and flee into tributary canals and
ponds when DO is low.

BOTTOM SEDIMENTS

The bottom sediments of a body of water reflect the physical and
chemical nature of the overlying waters. Bottom sediments from a clean body of
water resemble the soils of the surrounding area, while those of a polluted body







BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


of water assume the characteristics of the contaminants entering the water
(McKee and others, 1970).

Bottom sediment samples were collected at selected sites in Plantation
Canal and the control site on South New River Canal. Particle size
determinations were made from the top stratum of core samples. Samples
collected by Ekman dredge were analyzed chemically. Care was taken to include
only the upper 3 inches of bottom sediment. The average length of the cores
obtained from Plantation Canal was 5 inches. Each core had an upper stratum of
black organic sediment, and a lower stratum composed chiefly of sand.
Thirty-two percent of the upper stratum of all bottom sediment samples in
Plantation Canal and fifty-six percent of the control site were composed of silt
and clay particle size materials. In general, sediments from station 14B, 14C, and
15 in Plantation Canal were characterized by noxious odors, dark black color
and a fine texture.

TABLE 6
PERCENTAGE OF SELECTED PARTICLE SIZES OF BOTTOM SEDIMENTS IN
PLANTATION CANAL AND SOUTH NEW RIVER CANAL ABOVE S-13A

Location Percentage of Particle Size

gravel sand silt clay
>2 0.062-2.0 0.062-0.004 (>0.004)
(Millimeters)

Plantation Canal 2 56 28.6 3.4

South New River
Canal above 13-A 1.1 42.9 43.2 12.8


CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The chemical constituents analyzed in the bottom sediments were organic
carbon, organic nitrogen, exchangeable ammonium and total phosphorus (fig.
II). The percentage of organic carbon and nitrogen inPlantation Canal ranges
from 0.03 to 13 percent and 0.02 to 0.95 percent, respectively. Percentage of
organic carbon and nitrogen were slightly higher than at the control site on the
South New River Canal.

The sample from site 14 had the highest average concentration of organic
carbon and nitrogen in Plantation Canal. The bottom sediment at this site is







REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


composed of decaying organic detritus from floating aquatic plants. The aquatic
plants are wind driven into this section of the canal where they eventually die
and sink to the bottom. The concentration of organic carbon and nitrogen at site
14 was higher than at site 14A during the June sampling, but was the opposite
during the August 1972 sampling (fig. 11).

15 1


12.5

10

7,5

5

2.5


z
o
1.0
0
a
P 0.50
o
2r
S0,.10
o 0.05
I-
z
w
5 0
a.


ID11 ____


SITE 14


14A 14 B
PLANTATION CANAL


14C 15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A


i~inn6~


SITE 14


&M JUNE


14A 148 14C 15 SOI
PLANTATION CANAL CAN
1971 .. E AUGUST 1972


UTH NEW RIVER
AL ABOVE S-13A


Figure 11 Percentage of organic carbon and nitrogen in bottom sediments
of Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A.








20 BUREAU OF GEOLOGY

Although the bottom sediments at the control site contain considerable
amounts of exchangeable ammonium, nitrogen and phosphorus (fig. 12), the
highest concentrations of both were at sites 14 and 14A in Plantation Canal.
These high concentrations were due to the proximity of these sites to higher
sewage effluent and organic plant detritus.


Additional constituents analyzed in the bottom sediments included iron,
aluminum, manganese, mercury, lead, copper and volatile solids (table 7).



o
0







0.1
S0.5




SITE 14 14A 148 14C 15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
PLANTATION CANAL CANAL ABOVE S-13A
10
i 5
0 -






(LL



," 0 -0.
02
S0.05


0:01 I I I I I

SITE 14 14A 14B 14C 15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
PLANTATION CANAL CANAL ABOVE S-13A
Ea JUNE 1971 177 AUGUST 1972

Figure 12 Ammonlum and phosphorus concentrations Inthe bottom
sediments of Plantation Canal and South New River Canal abov
S-13A.











TABLE 7. CONCENTRATIONS OF METALS IN THE BOTTOM SEDIMENTS OF PLANTATION CANAL
AND SOUTH NEW RIVER CANAL ABOVE S-13A


Site Date

14 6-13-71
8-27-72

14A 6-13-71
8-29-72

14B 6-13-71

14C 8-29-72

15 6-13-71

Above 8-29-72


Aluminum Mangnese
(ug/g) (U/g)


480
190

440
3,190

160

370

8

1,800


0.0
18.

8
28

4

9

12

86


Volatile
Iron Copper Mercmy Lead Zinc Chromimn Solids
(ag/g) (ug/g) (g/g) (ug/g) (U/g) ug/g) (mg/g)


1,500
8,120

1,900
11,100


- 0.11
55 .00


130 210 29


.16 160 360


760


2,070

1,500

15,800


.08 1,110 200 180

1.3 -

.08 44 90 11


-I


O
-* '
135


-


44 2

-


216






BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


NUTRIENT RELEASE

Since the bottom sediments contain considerable amounts of nitrogen and
phosphorus they are a potential source of plant nutrients. Phosphorus can exist
in the sediment as calcium phosphate (apatite), organic phosphorus and in
complex forms with metals such as iron, manganese, and aluminum (Serruya,
1971). Correlation coefficients (r) of phosphorus with inorganic carbon (as
calcium carbonate) and with organic carbon were very good (r = 0.97 and 0.89)
and suggest that the occurrence of phosphorus is clearly related to the
occurrence of carbon compounds, (fig. 13). Additional correlations between
phosphorus and the metals, iron, manganese, and aluminum (r = 0.92, 0.82,
0.89, respectively) indicate a similar occurrence-association with these metals,
(fig. 14).
When the dissolved oxygen concentration decreases to less than 1.0 mg/1 at
the mud-water interface, iron and manganese are released into the water
(Mortimer, 1971). Since phosphorus is held in a complex form with these
constituents, all three are released into the overlying water in soluble form and
may become available to aquatic plants (Mortimer, 1971). The low DO levels in
Plantation Canal at the mud-water interface imply that phosphorus could be
released into the over-lying canal waters. On the other hand, the bottom
sediments at the control site probably contribute little phosphorus to the canal
water by the mechanism, because dissolved oxygen concentrations are rarely less
than 3 mg/I at the mud-water interface.
Brezonik and others (1969) placed bottom sediments from Anderson-Cue
Lake in bottles and monitored ammonium and orthophosphate concentrations
in the water. They found that considerably greater amounts of ammonium and
orthophosphate were released under anoxic conditions than oxygenated
conditions. Mixing or stirring the sediments with the water allowed still more
ammonium and orthophosphate to leach into the water. During periods of high
flow in Plantation Canal the bottom sediments may become mixed and thus
contribute considerable quantities of nutrients to the canal waters. Mechanical
operations used to remove aquatic plants also disturb the bottom and accelerate
nutrient release.

PESTICIDES

Pesticides enter bodies of water with runoff, waste discharges, by direct
application to control unwanted plant and animal pests, rainfall and dustfall,
(Wdlrich and Smith, 1970).

Typically only trace amounts of pesticides were found in the waters of
Plantation and South New River Canals because pesticides are virtuallyin living








REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


10

5




0.5



0.1
0.05


iir i

S


S


r = 0.97


0.01 I I I I
0.10 0.50 I 5 10

TOTAL PHOSPHORUS,
MICROGRAMS PER KILOGRAM


10
5





0.5



0.1

0.05


0.01


I I


0.10 0.50 1 5 10

TOTAL PHOSPHORUS,
MICROGRAMS PER KILOGRAM


Figure 13 Inorganic and organic carbon versus phosphorus in the bottom
Ssediments of Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above
S-13A.&


S-

*




- r = 0.89


*9








24 BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


50,000 I
x


a:
D 10,000 -
o
S5,000 -
z
Oa
0 w

S1000

o
< 500
a:
CD % r 0.92
O

100 -
0.1 0.5 I 5 10
TOTAL PHOSPHORUS,
MICROGRAMS PER KILOGRAM











I 100,000 I F


Ll
U)
w: *
z W




0
< 5,000 I



2 1000
S 0.10 0.50 1.0 5 10
TOTAL PHOSPHORUS,
MICROGRAMS PER KILOGRAM
Figure 14 Iron and manganese versus phosphorus concentrations in the
bottom sediments of Plantation Canal and South New River
Canal above S-13A.







REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


organisms (Klein and others, 1970). The average concentration of the DDT
family (DDT, DDE, DDD) in the bottom sediments in Plantation Canal was 15.7
ug/kg (micrograms per kilogram) for 10 samples, compared to 0.86 ug/kg for 6
samples at the control site in South New River Canal. Samples in Plantation
Canal were obtained by Ekman dredge from the middle of the canal; samples at
the control site were usually obtained near shore.

The average dieldrin concentration in 10 water samples from Plantation
Canal was 0.033 ug/1 (micrograms per liter); its average concentration in 10
samples of bottom sediment was 27.9 ug/kg. In each of six samples of water
from the control site, only a trace of dieldrin was found.

The principal herbicides found in the water and bottom sediments in the
study area are 2, 4-D, and silvex. Diquat (2, 4-D; 6, 7-dihydrodipyrido 1,2-a; '1'
- c pyrazinediium salts) and 2, 4-D amine, are used to control aquatic weeds in
the canals; 2, 4, 5-T is not used in the area (Browning 1972, written
communication).

The herbicides not only enter the water directly from the spray but also
from the dying plants that sink to the bottom of the canal.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) are used to manufacture plastics, resins,
and are also used with pesticides to extend the kill life of the formulation. PCBs
are more resistant to degradation than DDT and its derivatives; their biological
effects are unknown. Hammon (1972) indicated that industrial dumps and
sewage effleunts are sources of these materials.

PCBs were not detected in the waters of Plantation Canal but were found
in the bottom sediments; their concentrations ranged from 0 to 568 ug/kg in 8
samples. PCBs and the DDT family of compounds are also concentrated in food
chains as indicated by Meyer and Wimberly (1971) (fig. 15).

CLASSIFICATION OF BOTTOM SEDIMENTS

Ballinger and McKee (1971) developed an OSI (Organic Sediment Index)
to characterize the bottom sediments. The OSI is the product of the percent
organic carbon and nitrogen in the bottom sediments. The OSI was calculated
for each site each time a sample was taken (fig. 16).

The highest OSIs were found at sites 14, 14A, 14C and the control site.
These bottom sediments are in a state of active decomposition and are composed
of organic detritus and sludges. The bottom sediments also exhibit a very high
chemical oxygen demand (table 8) and a potential for high nutrient release. The







26 BUREAU OF GEOLOGY

SECTION a
"SHORE" "QUARTER" "DEEP"


S CANAL WATER TRACE-
ELOOEA -
6s


4. 2
SNAILS -
m.. O


BLUE
BLUE GILL&
9300


EXPLANATION a
6s DDT FAMILY
aOO POLYCHLORINATED
BIPHENYLS


Figure 15 Biological magnification of the DDT family (DDT + DDE +
DDD) and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in the Miami Canal. Values
for water are given in micrograms per liter and for biota and
bottom sediments in micrograms per kilogram (after Meyer and
Wimberly, 1971).





50


n


SITE 14 14A 148 14C
PLANTATION CANAL
JUNE 1971 I AUGUST 1972


Figure 16 Organic sediment index
River Canal above S-13A.


ACTIVELY DECOMPOSING SLUDGE
FRESH SEWAOE,MATTED ALGAE
DECAYING VEGETATION

SEWAGE SLUDGES




ORGANIC DETRITUS, PEAT
PARTIALLY STABILIZED SLUDGE

SAND,CLAY, OLD STABLE SLUDGE


IS SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A


in Plantation Canal and South New


10
S


0.05


_I_ I II_ L Y__ ~I I __1 ~ _







REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


bottom sediments at sites 14B and 15 in Plantation Canal are made up of
stabilized sludges and inorganic matter. They exert a chemical oxygen demand
and have a potential for nutrient release, but on a smaller scale (table 8).







TABLE 8.
CHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND IN THE BOTTOM SEDIMENTS IN
PLANTATION CANAL AND SOUTH NEW RIVER CANAL
ABOVE S-13A

Canal Site Chemical oxygen demand
(micrograms per kilograms)

14 120,000
Plantation Canal 14A 187,000
14C 53,000

South New River Canal above S-13A 250,000






The OSIs in figure 16 are helpful in locating the primary sources of
contamination in the canal. One source is the East Holloway Canal which runs
perpendicular to site 14 (fig. 2). Waste water from a sewage plant is discharged
into this canal. The discharge flows into Plantation Canal through a culvert.
During June 1971, the OSIs between sites 14 and 14A decreased from 10.1 to
0.5. The OSI was high at site 14 because the sediments were composed of
decaying organic detritus. The decrease between these sites was due to the
sedimentation of sewage particulates and green plants between the sites. Farther
downstream at site 14B, the OSI decreased slightly due to the distance from a
source of detritus. The OSI at site 15 was the lowest in the canal due to the
proximity of the site to the salinity control structure S-33. During discharge the
bottom sediments at this site are probably flushed into the North Fork New
River. In August 1972, the OSI values between sites 14 and 14A did just the
opposite; they increased from 0.48 to 9.0. This may be due to greater
stabilization of the organic detritus at site 14 and increased productivity in the
overlying waters at site 14A. The OSI at site 14C was 0.30; sewage effluent is
discharged immediately downstream from the site.






BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


Bottom sediment at the control site on the South New River Canal
exhibited a high OSI value of 6.8 similar to site 14A. The OSI at the control site
is high because of great productivity in the water and leaf litter contributed by
terrestrial plants.

BENTHIC ORGANISMS

Just as the bottom sediments reflect the quality of the overlying waters,
the composition of benthic organisms is an indicator of the physical and
chemical characteristics of both the bottom sediments and the overlying water.

In general the benthic animals in Plantation Canal are tolerant of moderate
to gross organic contamination (Beck, 1969). The most common animals found
were the sludgeworm, Tubifex tubifex, and bloodworms, (Chiromonid larvae).
These animals comprise 92 percent of the bottom community in Plantation
Canal and are found in concentrations as high as 4,000 per M2 (square meter).
The pollution tolerant forms in Plantation Canal are adept at surviving at DOs as
low as 0.85 mg/1 for extended periods of time. According to Pennak (1953), a
small percentage of a sludgeworm population survived 120 days under anoxic
conditions. In the deep section samples in Plantation Canal sludgeworms were
more abundant than bloodworms. Both are able to remain above the bottom
sediment and avoid suffocation because of their wormlike form; a characteristic
of pollution tolerant organisms and those living in muddy sediments. The life
cycle of the bloodworm is generally on the order of 32 days (Hall and others,
1970) and the life cycle of sludgeworms may be even less. These short life cycles
enable the animals to reproduce rapidly when stream conditions improve
temporarily.

Phantom midge larvae, Chaoborus sp. were found only in the deep section
samples. They tolerate moderate contamination. These animals migrate to the
water surface at night and return to the bottom sediments during the day
(Pennak 1953). Thus, they are not subjected continuously to adverse bottom
conditions.

The majority of animals collected near the shore cannot tolerate the low
DO and the muddy substrate found in the deeper sections of the canals. Scuds
(amphipods) were found near the shore and were closely associated with
submersed vegetation. DO ranged from 2 to 5 mg/1 near the shore and the
bottom sediments were composed chiefly of sand and rock. In addition, leeches,
mayflies, damsel fly nymphs and dragon fly nymphs were also found near the
shore during March June 1972. Sludgeworms and bloodworms were also found
near the shore. The population of bloodworms was greater than the
sludgeworms. The larvae of the flower fly, Tubifera sp., called "rat-tailed.




2
Bloodworm. .va





4

Phantom Midge Larvae


7

Gastropod Snail


9 ,
DamseMfly


Dragonfy Nymph. 10


Figure 17A. Benthic organisms found during the study.


Leech. 6


tz
0
0








z
1L






I )



nrt TiM Ma990. 3
tS>








BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


maggots" were collected at sites 14C and 15 from October 1971 to January
1972- These larvae are often found in septic water near the shore line where they
feed on organic matter in the sediments and project their respiratory tubes (tails)
above the surface. These animals made up 100 percent of the bottom
community at each site at the time of sampling when DO near the surface and
above the bottom was 0.2 mg/l and 0.0 mg/l, respectively. The rat-tail maggots
are able to survive adverse conditions because they obtain oxygen from the
atmosphere. They were not present at the control site on South New River
Canal.

Most of the animals at the control site on South New River Canal were
bloodworms and sludgeworms, collected chiefly from the deep and quarter
section samples. They constituted 65 percent of the bottom community;
numbers rarely exceeded 1,800 per M2. The bottom zones are composed of fine
sands and silts which constitute 75 percent of the bottom area. The animals are
able to tolerate both of soft substrate and organic contamination.

Other aquatic insects collected from the deep section were the dipteran
larvae Chaoborus sp. and Ceratopogon sp. The dipteran larvae comprised 8
percent of the benthic community, and tolerate a moderate amount of organic


SITE 14


2 (53%)


3(31%)

4(2%) (9%)
5(5%)SIT
SITE I4C


6(1%)

5 2(31%)
5%

4(22%)
I (41%)


SITE 14A


SITE 15


SITE 14B
o (2%) 4(9%)
8(5%)
7
(14%
S1(8%)

2(62 %)


SITE 40-CONTROL


Figure 17B. Percentage composition of benthic organisms present at each site
in Plantation Canal and South New River Canal above S-13A.







REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


pollution. The mayfly naiad (207 animals per M2) was collected during
March June 1972.

In the shore section, the snail Marisa cornuelatus was collected only during
May and June 1972; the snail Melanoides tuberculata was collected during the
entire sampling program (Russo 1973). Scuds (amphipods), with submersed
vegetation were restricted to the shore samples.

Rat-tailed maggots were not found at the control site. They are probably
limited by the amount of organic matter in the sediments and competition with
other bottom organisms.

In Plantation Canal benthic communities contain large numbers of
organisms represented by a few genera, which are able to tolerate moderate to
gross organic contamination for extended periods of time. At the control site on
the South New River Canal the benthic community contained 7 different genera
but smaller populations of animals. The control site supports pollution tolerant
forms found in Plantation Canal and, some that do not tolerate any appreciable
organic contamination. The non-tolerant animals have relatively long life cycles,
require a suitable substrate, and adequate supplies of food and oxygen.
The control site provides non-tolerant benthic organisms with the
materials necessary to sustain life. The DO levels above the bottom at this site
are high, averaging 3.3 mg/l. The bottom sediments in this area, chiefly fine
sand, provide a suitable substrate for these animals to live in or on. Food is also
abundant in the form of plant detritus and algae. The absence of these
non-tolerant benthic organisms in Plantation Canal during most of the study
indicates that DO levels, averaging 0.85 mg/l above the bottom are too low to
sustain them. The bottom sediments in Plantation Canal are finely divided clay
sized particles and most animals would sink in them and suffocate. Finally, the
toxicity of high concentrations of ammonium-nitrogen and carbon dioxide
would make living on or in the bottom sediments impossible.

MAarisa cornuelatus and Melanoides tuberculata were present in the shore
section at the control site but absent in Plantation Canal due chiefly to the low
DO levels above the bottom and the unsuitable substrate.

BIOTIC INDICES

To relate the distribution and variety of the biota to the chemical and
physical characteristics of the body of water being studied, a Biotic Index was
computed from the biological data. This index, a numerical rating of the
cleanliness of a body of water with respect to organic contamination, was
devised by Beck (1969).






BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


He categorized species of organisms that tolerate no appreciable organic
contamination as Class 1 and the species that tolerate moderate organic
contamination but cannot exist under near anaerobic conditions as Class 2. The
index is computed as follows:
Biotic Index = 2 (n Class 1) + (n Class 2)
where n equals the number of different species present.

The hypothetical range of the Biotic Index may vary from zero to 40 and
is broken down into three classifications. A biotic index of 10 or more is
indicative of a clean stream; a moderately contaminated stream will have an
index of I to 10 and a grossly contaminated stream will have an index less than
I. The following organisms were rated by the author as Class 2 indicators,
Melanoides tuberculata, Marisa comuelatus, the phantom midge Chaoborus sp.,
and leeches.

A Diversity Index was also determined, using a method of Patten (1962):
Diversity Index = (S-1) In N
where S is the number of different species in the sample and N is the total
number of animals present. The diversity index is based upon two postulates: (1)
clean water communities are composed of many different species which are not
found in great numbers (high diversity), and (2) a contaminated body of water is
characterized by a community composed of a few different species which are
very abundant (low diversity).

The Biotic Index is a numerical rating based on the qualitative
composition of the community while the Diversity Index is strictly a
quantitative measurement.

Both the diversity index and the biotic index are dependent on a
representative sample of the benthic populations present at each site. Since only
3 Echman dredge samples were collected at each site, important animals may be
missed in sampling and populations of these animals in the samples may not have
been representative. Therefore, both indices must be used with caution.

The biotic index values in Plantation Canal averaged 1 and ranged from 0
to 5 over the study period (fig. 18). The average biotic index value at the control
site on South New River Canal was 5 and ranged between 1 and 7. Plantation
Canal exhibits a biological zonation, according to the index values (fig. 18). The
biotic indices for sites 14, 14C and 15 were all zero.

The diversity indices at sites 14, 14C and 15 ranged from 0 and 0.20. Sites
14A and 14B were characterized by higher indices ranging from 0.10 to 0.33.
The diversity index at the control site on South New River Canal were higher,







REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70


0.2 on the average, and ranged from 0.10 to 0.60. The diversity indices at the
study sites are low compared to 1.5 obtained from a canal in the conservation
areas (Waller 1973 oral communication). These diversity indices are in accord
with the biotic index values and reaffirm the zonation of the Plantation Canal.


CLEAN WATER

t:


AVERAGE MAXIMUM RANGE

MINIMUM RANGE










/ \ T


SITE 14


14A 14B
PLANTATION CANAL


AVERAGE


GROSS


15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A


MAXIMUM RANGE

MINIMUM RANGE


I -


SITE K4 14A 14B 14C 15 SOUTH NEW RIVER
CANAL ABOVE S-13A
Figure 18 Biotic and diversity index values in Plantation Canal and South
New River Canal above S-13A.


I


0.5 )-


I-


x
0.4
z
Z
_ 0.3

S0.2

0.1

0


4


vr


. I






BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


Plantation Canal improved slightly during the last 5 months of the study
because of increased discharge from January 1972 to June 1972. In regards to
water quality, the nutrient and BOD concentrations decreased and DO levels at
sites 14A and 14B increased slightly (fig. 10). During this time the biotic and
diversity indices reached peak values of 5 and 0.33 respectively, at these sites
(fig. 18).

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The principal source of the organic materials in Plantation Canal is effluent
from sewage treatment plants. As a consequence the waters of Plantation Canal
contain large quantities of oxygen demanding wastes and plant nutrients. During
the first 10 months of the study these wastes accumulated in the canal because
the canal did not flow.

The DO content of the water in Plantation Canal is extremely low because
of high BOD and high nutrient concentrations and probably reach zero just
above the bottom sediments. When conditions are anoxic, anerobic
decomposition produces objectionable odors.

The high concentrations of nutrients result in luxuriant growth of algae
and floating aquatic plants. These plants may discolor the water, inhibit flow
and exert an oxygen demand when respiring and undergoing decomposition.

FC/FS ratios indicate the existence of human waste in Plantation Canal,
and, hence the possible presence of pathogenic bacteria.

The bottom sediments in both Plantation Canal and South New River
Canal above S-13A exert an oxygen demand upon the overlying waters. They
also contain high levels of plant nutrients, metals and pesticides that may be
released into the overlying waters.

Nutrients may also be released in both canals when the DO content falls
below 1.0 mg/l at the mud-water interface. This probably occurs frequently in
Plantation Canal and rarely at the control site in South New River Canal.

The bottom sediments in Plantation Canal are composed of highly
decomposed and stabilized sludges. On the basis of the OSI the bottom
sediments at sites 14, 14A, 14C and at the control site have a potential for high
nutrient release and high oxygen demand.

The composition of the benthic communities reflected, the quality of the
bottom sediments and overlying waters. The communities in Plantation Canal






REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70 35

were composed of a few genera represented by large numbers of organisms (low
biotic and diversity index values). The communities at the control site on South
New River Canal had a greater number of different genera represented by a
smaller number of organisms (greater biotic and diversity index values). The
biotic and diversity indices indicated that Plantation Canal experienced
moderate to gross contamination during the entire study particularly the stream
reach east of Highway 441 and at site 14. A slight increase in the biotic and
diversity indices at sites 14A and 14B was noted during the last few months of
the study presumably because of an increase in flow. The increased flow tended
to reduce BOD and nutrient content and to increase DO resulting in an
improvement in the overall water quality of the canal.






BUREAU OF GEOLOGY







REPORT OF INVESTIGATION NO. 70 37

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BUREAU OF GEOLOGY


McKee, G. D, Parrish, L P., Hirth, C. R., McKenthum, K. M., and Keup, L. E.
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