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Open Access Prioritizing Subwatersheds for Stormwater Pollution to Wachusett Reservoir

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The Wachusett Reservoir is a primary drinking water resource for the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area. With a drainage area of 280 km2, the watershed has been gradually urbanized with increased residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation land uses. Increased impervious surface area as a result of urbanization results in increased runoff volume and pollutant loads to the reservoir. This study estimated annual stormwater pollutant mass loads in the watershed to prioritize sub-basins and to identify areas susceptible to stormwater pollution. Catchment Prioritization Index (CPI) was calculated using annual stormwater pollutant mass loads, which were further used to identify clustered hotspots through application of the Getis‐Ord Gi* statistic. Validation with observed data showed higher levels of fecal coliform bacteria loading from identified hotspots. This approach will be useful to prioritize sub-basins for future (1) development of stormwater monitoring strategies and (2) best management practices (BMPs) in the watershed.

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Keywords: hotspot analysis; prioritization; stormwater pollutants

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations:  Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 130 Natural Resources Road, Amherst, MA 01003.

Publication date: 01 February 2013

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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