DEVELOPMENT OF HYDRAULIC INPUTS FOR A NUTRIENT TMDL WATER-QUALITY MODEL OF THE NON-TIDAL PASSAIC RIVER BASIN, NEW JERSEY
Abstract:The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey EcoComplex, has developed a streamflow routing model that provides the transient hydraulic inputs to a watershed water-quality model to be used in establishing a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for nutrients in the Passaic River Basin. The Passaic River Basin, the third largest basin in New Jersey, drains approximately 950 square miles in the heavily urbanized northeastern part of the state, and supplies drinking water for approximately 2 million people. Water quality in the basin is affected by many point-source discharges and diversions, nonpoint-source runoff from areas of mixed land use and varying geology, complex river-system hydraulics, ground-water/surface-water interactions, and water use. The diversion of water at the Wanaque South Intake, near the confluence of the Pompton and Passaic Rivers, to the Wanaque Reservoir is of major concern because it may contribute to eutrophication of the reservoir.
A one-dimensional, open-channel, flow-routing computer program (DAFLOW) was used to simulate flows representing a range of flow conditions in the non-tidal portion of the basin during 1999–2003. This finite-difference program is based on the diffusion wave form of the St. Venant unsteady-flow equations and geomorphic principles combined with a Lagrangian solution scheme. Model boundary conditions consist of observed flows at upstream gaging stations, estimated tributary flows, and reported major point-source-discharge and diversion flows. A procedure based on comparisons of drainage-basin and other characteristics was developed to help select the most appropriate index gages to be used for estimating tributary flows. Simulated mass balance, flood-wave timing and attenuation, flow duration, flow velocity, and depth at downstream gaging stations were calibrated to their observed counterparts for a dry year and were validated for a extreme dry year, wet year, and average year. Simulated results were within the accuracy of observed flow data in most cases. An algorithm was developed for use with DAFLOW to represent the complex mixing that occurs near the Wanaque South Intake and to determine the variation in flow from local sources to the intake. A dye tracer study will help with calibration and validation of the algorithm.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2005
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