nerc.ac.uk

Identifying priorities for nutrient mitigation using river concentration-flow relationships: the Thames basin, UK

Bowes, Michael J.; Jarvie, Helen P.; Naden, Pamela S.; Old, Gareth H.; Scarlett, Peter M.; Roberts, Colin; Armstrong, Linda K.; Harman, Sarah A.; Wickham, Heather D.; Collins, Adrian L.. 2014 Identifying priorities for nutrient mitigation using river concentration-flow relationships: the Thames basin, UK. Journal of Hydrology, 517. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.03.063

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
[img]
Preview
Text
N505198PP.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract/Summary

The introduction of tertiary treatment to many of the sewage treatment works (STW) across the Thames basin in southern England has resulted in major reductions in river phosphorus (P) concentrations. Despite this, excessive phytoplankton growth is still a problem in the River Thames and many of its tributaries. There is an urgent need to determine if future resources should focus on P removal from the remaining STW, or on reducing agricultural inputs, to improve ecological status. Nutrient concentration-flow relationships for monitoring sites along the River Thames and 15 of its major tributaries were used to estimate the relative inputs of phosphorus and nitrogen from continuous (sewage point sources) and rain-related (diffuse and within-channel) sources, using the Load Apportionment Model (LAM). The model showed that diffuse sources and remobilisation of within-channel phosphorus contributed the majority of the annual P load at all monitoring sites. However, the majority of rivers in the Thames basin are still dominated by STW P inputs during the ecologically-sensitive spring-autumn growing season. Therefore, further STW improvements would be the most effective way of improving water quality and ecological status along the length of the River Thames, and 12 of the 15 tributaries. The LAM outputs were in agreement with other indicators of sewage input, such as sewered population density, phosphorus speciation and boron concentration. The majority of N inputs were from diffuse sources, and LAM suggests that introducing mitigation measures to reduce inputs from agriculture and groundwater would be most appropriate for all but one monitoring site in this study. The utilisation of nutrient concentration-flow data and LAM provide a simple, rapid and effective screening tool for determining nutrient sources and most effective mitigation options.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.03.063
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.4 - Develop novel and improved methods to enable the sustainable management of freshwaters and wetlands
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
Boorman (to September 2014)
ISSN: 0022-1694
Additional Keywords: phosphorus, nitrogen, load apportionment model, Thames Initiative, point source, diffuse source
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Hydrology
Chemistry
Date made live: 14 Apr 2014 11:55 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/505198

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...