Revitalization of a northcentral Texas river, as indicated by benthic macroinvertebrate communities

Abstract

Macrobenthic communities were surveyed in 1987–88 as part of acomprehensive study of fish kills and water quality in the upper TrinityRiver. The purpose was to characterize macrobenthic integrity in relation toambient and storm-associated water quality and other environmental factors.No physical habitat features were found to be substantially limiting toaquatic life. Water and sediment quality generally were good, andmacrobenthic communities typically were healthy. Ecological conditions werevastly improved compared to the recent past, attributable mainly todecreased contaminant loading from wastewater treatment plants and reducedincidence of raw sewage bypassing. Nonetheless, some impact was evident incertain reaches. Deleterious effects at Beach St. evidently resulted frompesticides derived from urban runoff. Slight impacts by dissolved metalswere suggested for Grand Prairie and Continental Ave.; possible sourcesincluded urban runoff and wastewater treatment plant effluents. Moderateimpacts at S. Loop 12 were attributed to low-flow toxicity induced by awastewater treatment plant discharge; ammonia and chlorine were consideredprimarily responsible, with metals and pesticides possibly involved.Macrobenthic communities were somewhat degraded from Trinidad to US 79, dueto storm-related stresses by DO depression, pesticides, and metallic oxides.Overall impacts were relatively slight on a long-term basis, however, and ahigh aquatic life use was attained at most sites. The degree of macrobenthicintegrity was considered remarkable for an effluent-dominated system withsuch extensive urbanization in the watershed.

DOI: 10.1023/A:1002961931613

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Cite this paper

@article{Davis2004RevitalizationOA, title={Revitalization of a northcentral Texas river, as indicated by benthic macroinvertebrate communities}, author={Jack R. Davis}, journal={Hydrobiologia}, year={2004}, volume={346}, pages={95-117} }